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BOOK ZZ. F0& STAZTDAUD IIZ.
GEOGRAPHICAL READERS FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
By charlotte M. MASON.
Past SvOf doth, with Maps and Woodcuts,
Book I. for Standard II. — ^Elembntabt Geogba^ht, Is,
yy II. „ m. — The Bbtush Empibb aitd the Gbeat
DlYISIONB OF THE GlOBE, Is, 6d.
„ III. „ lY. — ^The COTJ17TIS8 OF England, 28, Sd.
„ IV. „ V. — ^Eubope (Preparing).
„ v. ,, yi.— Asia, Afbica, Amebioa, and Austbalasia
LONDON : EDWARD STANFORD, 55 CHARING CROSS, S.W.
Tee London Geogbaphical Series.
CHARLOTTE M. MASON,
AUTHOBESS OT " THE COBTT 8HISB8, THETS HI8T0BT, SCKNESr, ARTS,
Book II. pob Stand abb III.
THE BEITISH EMPIEE
THE GREAT DIVISIONS OF THE GLOBE
EDWAED STANFOED, 65 CHAEING CEOSS, S.W.
Children should be familiar with the Map of the
World before the geography of any division of the
earth's surface is studied in detail, and perhaps the
year in ** Standard III." is a good time in which to
lay this foundation for geographical knowledge.
*^ The situation of the several parts of the earth is
better learned by one day's conversing with a mop,
than by merely reading the description of their situa-
tion a hundred times over in a book of geography." —
Dr. Watts, * On the Imjprovemeni of the Mind*
It is hoped this little book may prove of use as a
** Child's Guide to the Map of the World." The
object of the reading lessons is to associate ideas of
interest with the various States and regions of the
world, with the situation of which the children are
made familiar; and, at the same tftne, to convey
in simple language a few of the leading facts and
principles of Geography.
The parts of the British Empire are treated in
detail ; these, being widely scattered, are best studied
in connection with the divisions of the earth to
which they belong.
It is proposed that only the chapters relating to
the British Empire should be studied .for examina-
tion purposes, the rest of the book being read by
the class to promote intelligence in their special
C. M. M.
I. The Seas and Shores of Europe 1
11. „ „ „ (PartIL) .. 4
III. GOUKTBIES OF EtTBOPE 7
rv. Plains and Mountains of Eubopb 11
V. „ „ „ (PartIL) .. 14
VI. BivBBS OF Europe.: 18
VII. The British Isles 23
VIII. „ „ (PartIL) 26
IX. The Cruise of the 'Seagull' .. .. .. .. 30
X.' * „ „ „ (PartIL) .. .. 34
XL Round North Britain 37
XII. The Ocean Shores .. ', ./ .. 42
XIIL The Principality 46
XIV. The Western Horn 50
XV. From Jo^n O'Groat's to Land's End .. .. 68
XVL „ ' „ „ (PartIL) 57
XVIL „ „ „ (Pwrtin.) 61
XVm. „ „ „ (Part IV.) 63
XIX. Ireland 69
XX. „ (Partn.) 72
XXL France 77
XXIL Spain and Portugal 83
XXIIL Italy 87
XXIV. Switzerland 91
XXV. GSBMANT 96
XXVL Holland 100
XXVII. Sweden and Nobwat 105
XXVIU. BussiA 110
XXIX. „ (Part II.) 113
XXX. Asia 116
XXXI. „ (Part II.) 119
XXXII. Pbbsla. 123
XXXIII. Arabia 126
XXXIV. OuB Indian Empibe 130
XXXV. „ „ (Part 11.) 136
XXXVL „ „ (Part III.) .. ., • .. 139
XXXVII. The Celestial Empibe 142
XXXVIII. „ „ (Partn.) 147
XXXIX. Afbioa 148
XL. „ (PartlL) 154
XLI. „ (Partm.) 159
XLII. The New Wobld 164
XLUI. NoBTH Amebiga 168
„ The West Indies 172
XLIV. The Dominion of Canada 173
XLV. „ „ „ (Part II.) .. .. 179
XLVI. South Ambbica 185
XLVII. The Gbeat South Land 190
„ New Zealand 196
Book II. for Standard III.
THE SEAS AND SHORES OF EUROPE.*
The seas which bound Europe are branches of the
Atlantic, excepting on the north, where the cold
waters of the Arctic Ocean wash the coasts. The
Atlantic is a much smaller ocean than the Pacific,
but it is much more used by the ships which carry-
on the commerce of the world. It lies between the
west coasts of Europe and Africa^ and the east coast
The bed of this ocean is unlike that of the Pacific ;
the high places do not often rise into mountains that
appear above water as groups of islands, but they are
long, level heights, or plateaus, a great way under
water, although much higher than the rest of the
ocean bottom. The low parts of the ocean floor lie
at a depth of about five miles.
Cables by which telegraphic messages are sent
from Europe to America extend from the island of
Valencia (off the west coast of Ireland) to Newfound-
* For a notice of the general distribution of land and water, see
THE SEAS AND SHOBES OF EUBOPE. 8
land, along the floor of the sea at a depth of three
miles, in some places, below the surface of the
A strange fact about the Atlantic is the moyement
through its northern basin of a mighty river of warm
sea-water. This river is larger than all the fresh-
water rivers of the world together ; and instead of
having banks of solid earth, it is walled in on either
side by the ocean waters.
This river is the Ovif Stream, and its waters keep
thus distinct because warm water does not mix
readily with cold : it consists of ocean- water which
has been heated under the burning sun of the
tropics, that is, in the hottest part of the world.
This stream flows towards the west, into the Gulf of
Mexico, where it is shut in for a while under a hot
tropical sun, and when it comes out through the
Strait of Florida, it is the broad river of veiy warm
water we have spoken of. Because it has come out
of a gulf, it is known as the OtiJf Stream.
Having swept out of the Strait of Florida, the
Gulf Stream flows nearly as far north as Newfound-
land ; then it crosses the ocean, and one part of
the stream passes Britain and Norway. The water
loses much of its heat as it flows towards the
cold north, but it is still warm enough when it
reaches England to keep our harbours from being
frozen, and to warm the westerly winds which blow
from off the sea over our own country and the mari-
time countries of Western Europe,
Not only this warm stream, but all the waters
which wash the shores of Europe help to make its
4 THE SEAS AND SHOBES 07 EHBOPE.
climate pleasant. Water does not become so hot as
dry land in summer, nor so cold in winter. Hence
the winds that blow over seas and become filled with
watery vapour are cool and pleasant in the summer,
and mild and moist in the winter. It is plain, then,
that if the winds which reach a country have come
across wide waters, that land must have a more
pleasant, temperate climate than another land which
has no sea-breeze to cool it during summer heat, nor
warm it during winter cold.
THE SEAS AND SHOEES OF EUROPE.
Look, now, at a map of Europe ; you will find it is
broken into by the ocean in a remarkable way, —
much more so than any other continent. The
Atlantic is an ocean of inland seas that enter into the
very heart of the land, and most of these are in
Europe. To the south, there is the large, blue,
beautiful Mediterranean, with the Black Sea and the
two small seas connected with it, — the Sea of Mar-
mora and the Sea of Azof; the Archipelago, so full
of islands that its name is given to any sea which
contains many islands; and the Adriatic. These
form a chain of seas, some of which are connected by
sti:aits. The burning winds which blow from the
African Desert cross the Mediterranean and become
somewhat cool and moist before they reach the plea-
THE SEAS AND SHOBES OF EXJBOPE, 5
sant lands of Southern Europe. The long name
belonging to this sea has a curious history ; it means
middle of the earth ; and was so called because the
ancients, to whom a great deal of the world was un-
known, thought that the Great Sea, round which lay
all the famous countries of the Old World, was
indeed the middle of the earth.
Now, look at the west ; see how the Bay of Biscay
and the English Channel, the Irish Sea and the
North Sea, and the Baltic, with the various straits
and belts which connect them, break into the very
middle of the continent. Notice how, here, as in the
south, these inland seas form many peninsulas. In
the Mediterranean there are the Spanish peninsula,
Italy, and Turkey ; and, in the north, the Scandina-
vian peninsula, siid the little northward pointing
peninsula of Denmark ; to say nothing of Britain,
which is not almost, but altogether an island.
Even the cold Arctic serves a kindly purpose;
the bitter winds which blow from the icy regions
round the pole are a little less keen than if they had
come overland. But what is to be said for Eastern
Europe? The whole broad continent of Asia
stretches between it and the eastern ocean. The
consequence is what you might expect, the air is
bitterly cold and dry in the winter, and hot and dry
in the summer ; and never moist and pleasant as
are the winds which blow towards Europe across the
The Atlantic with its inland seas benefits Europe
in another way ; this continent has, for its size, more
land bordering on the sea than any other. This
6 THE SEAS AND SHOBES OF EUROPE.
long coast-line is a great advantage, because countries
which have a seaboard, or coast-line, can trade far
and near with their ships; and as almost every
country in Europe has some seaboard, this continent,
placed nearly in the middle of the world, is able to
carry on a wide commerce with the other continents,
east and west.
The countries of Europe have not all an equal
share in this commerce ; those that have much
coast-line, like Britain, can most readily become
great sea-faring nations. But, for this purpose, the
coast must be broken with inlets, which make snug
harbours for the ships ; an unbroken coast, like that
of much of Africa, for instance, is of little use.
Examine the map of Europe to see which coun-
tries have the longest and most indented coast-lines*
and you will find that these either were at one time*
or are now, great maritime, or sea-going, nations.
By looking at the map you will see that the
Atlantic is a highway which carries ships westwards
to America, or, southwards, to Africa. By rounding
the southern point of Africa, vessels may make for
the south and east of Asia. But this, you will see,
is a long and roundabout way ; if it were not for the
little neck of land which separates the Mediterranean
from the Eed Sea, how easy it would be to sail
through these two seas, and out into the Arabian
sea, and so across to India! To make this short
passage possible, a wonderful piece of work has
been finished quite lately ; a water-way was dug a
hundred miles long, and wide and deep enough for
ships to sail in. Then the sea waters rushed in and
oouimaBS of eubofb.
filled this channel, which is called the Saes Canal,
because it cuts through the isthmus of Suez; and
ships for India or Ghina^ or for any part of the south
or east of Asia now go by this most useful canal.
COUNTRIES OP EUROPE.
A GLAKOE at the map sjiows that the countries of
Europe are very unequal in size. The eastern half
of the continent is occupied by one huge country
which reaches from the Arctic on the north to the
Black Sea on the south, and as far west as the
Baltic. Our own land only extends through five
degrees of latitude, but Bussia stretches through
thirty degrees from north to south. For this reason,
various climates prevail in the different parts of
Bussia ; in the north there are wide frozen plains
upon which the sun never rises for weeks during the
long Arctic night; while in the south there are
warm sunny regions where the vine grows freely.
This large country is an empire. The people are
very unlike those of the rest of Europe in their ways,
their language, and their religion. St. Petersburg,
the capital city, has sq many fine houses and other
handsome buildings, that it is sometimes called a
city of palaces.
To the north-west of Bussia are the two countries
of Norway and . Sweden, which form a peninsula
pointing south, and are washed by the sea every-
where except where they join Bussia^
8 OOT7NTBI1S0 07 X1TB0PS.
The west of Norway is exposed to the strong
Atlantic waves; the ocean reaches into the land by
many narrow inlets, called jwrdSy and countless
islands fringe the coast.
These countries, also, stretch beyond the Arctic
circle into the frigid zone, and have, therefore, long
winter nights ; but as the people are fond of books,
they spend many of these dark hours in study.
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is built upon
several islands joined together by bridges, and is a
very clean and beautiful town.
To the south of this is another smaller peninsula,
the only one in Europe which points towards the
north. With the islands o£f its, eastern coast, it
forms the kingdom of Denmark* Copenhagen, the
capital, is built upon an island.
The tiny island of Heligoland, which lies off the
south-west coast of the peninsula, belongs to Britain.
Still to the south-west, upon the North Sea, are
two small, but busy, countries. Holland, the most
northerly of these, lies so low that the people are
obliged to build strong embankments called dykes
to keep the sea firom bursting in upon their neat,
well-kept towns and carefully tended fields.
Belgium, the small country to the south, is so
busy, so full of towns and people, that the whole
country looks like one huge city. Beautiful lace
and handsome carpets are made in Brussels, its chief
These two countries are kingdoms.
The next country to the south-west is a republic.
It is the gay and pleasant land of France, with
CX)1JNTfiIB8 OF KUBOPir. 9
which England had, in old days, many long wars ;
but English people now go there in crowds to see
the country, and Paris, its beautiful capital.
France is washed by the Bay of Biscay on the
west, and by the English Channel on the north.
The pleasant Channel Islands, Jersey, Guernsey,
Aldemey, and Sark, belong to England, though
they lie off the north coast of France.
Crossing the English Channel, we come to our
own country, which, with Scotland to the north, and
Ireland (which is an island) to the west, forms the
kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. London,
the capital of this kingdom, is the largest and richest
city in the world ; it does not look so bright and gay
as Paris, however, because the smoke from the
enormous number of coal fires makes the buildings
In the south of Europe is a large peninsula,
which points southward, and contains the countries
of Spain and Portugal. The people of these
countries were at one time famous sailors who
explored and conquered many lands ; but now they
have become a rather idle people. Spain and
Portugal are kingdoms. A little bit of this large
peninsula belongs to England — the rocky fortress of
Gibraltar, which stands exactly at the opening into
The next southern country of Europe is also a
peninsula, of a curious shape, something like a boot
with a large island off the toe. This is a beautiful
land where grapes and oranges grow freely, and
where you might live nearly always in the open air.
10 C0UNTBXE8 07 XUBOPB.
Borne, its capital, was once the greatest city in the
world, and had large armies of brave and obedient
soldiers who conquered nearly every country known
in their day, including our own. But all this glory
has long since passed away.
To the south of Sicily are three small islands
which belong to Britain — Malta, Gozo, and Oomino.
Malta is the largest and most important of these ;
it has a delicious climate, and grapes and oranges €knd
other southern fruits grow here as in Italy. British
soldiers are stationed here to protect the British
merchant ships which trade in the Mediterranean.
The beautiful little country of Switzerland lies,
all among the mountains, to the north of this penin-
sula ; it is a republic, inhabited by a brave people.
Switzerland is sometimes called the playground of
Europe, because crowds of people from other coun-
tries go every year to keep holiday among its
mountains and lakes.
Separated from Italy by the Adriatic Sea is an-
other peninsula pointing south, containing two
countries. Turkey, the northern of these, is held
by the only European nation which is not Ghristiaa
Constantinople, its capital, stands on a lovely spot
upon the Bosphorus.
The little country of Q-reece, to the south, was, like
Italy, at one time the greatest country in the world.
It is pleasant to know that S6dnt Paul travelled about
here and taught the people, and wrote to some of
the towns letters, which we may now read in the
The rather large island of Oypbus, which lies in
PLAINS AKB M0UHTAIN8 OF EtTBOPE. 11
what is called the Levant — ^that is, the eastern part
of the Mediterranean — has fallen quite lately into the
occupation of Great Britain. It is a pleasant island,
containing many mountains, and large forests of oak
and walnut trees. Delicious fruits and various kinda
of com grow on the open plains.
The centre of Europe is occupied by two large
empires: to the north-west is Germany, where the
people of the various provinces and principalities
speak one language, and have, on the whole, a friendly
feeling towards each other ; and to the south-east is
Austria, in which there are two or three countries,
between the inhabitants of which little frigidly feel-
ing exists, as they speak difiEerent languages, and do
not belong to one race.
PLAINS AND MOUNTAINS OF EUROPE.
By looking at the map of Europe we may learn a
good deal about the appearance of the countries in
it. We see which are mountainous, and therefore
likely to be beautiful, cmd whether there are lakes
among the mountains to add to their beauty. We
see which are the dull, level lands or plains, and if
there are lakes in these flat plains. We learn in
what part of Europe the mountains lie, and in what
directions the various chains run.
The direction of the mountain chains is one of the
first things that persons who understand geography
notice when they examine a map^ because the climate
12 PLAINS AND MOUNTAINS OF SUBOPS;
of a country may be a good deal afifected by the
position of its mountains. These may stand Uke a
huge sheltering wall, to shield the land from the icy
north wind, the bitter east, or the burning south;
or, while rising as a barrier against all pleasant
moisture-laden winds, they may leave the land ex-
posed to the biting blasts off frozen plains. Then,
again, the mountains rear their heads so high among
the clouds that they cause the watery vapour of which
these are composed to drop in frequent showers; so
that a mountainous country has generally a good
deal of rain, excepting in dry, hot lauds, where clouds
We must consider one more fact about mountains.
Trace the river lines upon a map to the spot where
they begin, and you will find that rivers generally
have their sources in mountains. Also, you will
notice that several rivers rise in the same range of
mountains, and flow in the same general direction
until they reach the sea. Look again, and you may
see that other rivers rise in these same mountains,
and flow in quite an opposite direction, perhaps to
empty their waters into another sea. The reason of
this is easy to understand. The rain which falls
upon a mountain either streams down the slopes in
little runlets, or sinks through crevices in the rock
deep into the mountain-side. By-and-by the under-
ground crevices become so filled that they can hold
no more, and the water is forced out as a spring.
The waters from many runlets and springs collect
and form a stream^ and the stream makes its way
steadily downwards to the lowest land it can reach,
PLAINS Aim MOUNTAINS OF EXJBOPE. 13
and, at last, to the sea, because the sea lies lower
than any land. On its way seaward, the mountain
stream is joined by many other streams, and fed by
many springs, until it becomes a river, wide and deep
enough in some cases to carry big ships.
Notice two points in this little history of a river :
in the first place, runlet, stream, river, are constantly
flowing downwards. Try to imagine a river rising in
land as flat as a table and flowing towards a distant
sea, always over quite flat land. You cannot. The
water would cease to flow, and would spread into
stagnant ponds. A river can only flow so long as it
finds some little slope in the land down which it can
run. If the slope be great the river rushes along
with a headlong course, like a hoop trundled down a
hill; the more level the land is, the slower is the
current of the rivers, and very sluggish are the
streams which creep over wide plains. Knowing
that every river must run down a slope, a glance at
the map will show in what direction the land slopes
— to the west here, to the north there ; in whatever
direction a river runs from its source to the sea, the
general slope of the land must be in that direc-
Notice, in the second place, that it is not upon one
side only of a mountain that rain falls and springs
rise. If the streams we have been considering have
their sources on the southern slope, we may be sure
that the same thing takes place on the northern
slope also. Now as the streams which rise on the
north side cannot possibly flow up the mountains to
unite with those which rise on the south side, they
14 PLAINS AND MOUNTAINa OF EUBOPE.
must flow down and make for themselres courses in
the opposite direction, perhaps towards a far-distant
sea. Thus the mountain's ridge divides the streams
which rise upon one slope from those which rise
upon the other : and, in this way, mountains often
form a water-parting ; that is, a division or
parting between streams which flow in contrary
directions. As the direction in which the rivers
flow depends thus upon the position of the mountains
and the direction of the slope, and as vessels trade
upon the rivers, and towns grow up upon theii* banks,
we have here a second reason why the direction of
its mountain chains is an important fact in the
geography of a continent.
PLAINS AND MOUNTAINS OF EUROPE. '
Turning now to the map of Europe, we notice that
the three southern peninsulas are well covered with
mountains, while they are marked thickest in Switzer-
land, the beautiful little country lying to the north
of Italy. In fact, the Swiss mountains seem to be
the centre of those in the south-west of Europe,
and several ranges branch from them into France,
Germany, and Austria, as well as into the three
Hungary, a country which forms part of Austria,
PLAnrS AND MOUNTAINS OF EUBOPB. 15
has a cbain of mountains named the Carpathian^
curving round its eastern side.
There is also a range, quite away from the rest»
stretching from the north to the south of Scandinavia.
These are called the Scandinavian Mountains.
All the rest of Europe is very flat, and forms a
great plain which takes in the whole of Bussia, as
well as the countries to the south of the Baltic Sea
and the German Ocean. Nearly half of Bussia is
covered with immense forests, some of them much
larger than all the British Isles put together.
Holland, where the sea is kept out by embank-
ments, is one of the lowest parts of the great plain.
The other very low part is at the south-east end,
round the Caspian Sea ; here, a high wind drives the
sea-waters over the land ; and not only the waters,
but the vessels upon them are at times driven upon
In the north of this plain, in Bussia, are Ladoga
and Onega, the two largest lakes in Europe. Lakes
are common in mountain valleys, but sometimes, as
here, they fill up the lowest parts of a plain. The
long range of Scandinavian Mountains runs close
to the Atlantic coast ; the sea rushes in between these
mountains and fills the narrow valleys which are
called fiords. The summits of this range are, in the
north, covered with perpetual snow and ice, but the
«ides are clothed with great forests of pine ; indeed,
these pine forests cover more than three-quarters of
the peninsula. There are several large lakes in
Sweden, Wener and Wetter being the largest.
The Alps, the highest and grandest of all the
16 PLAINS AND MOUNTAINS OF EUBOPB.
mountain ranges of Europe, nearly fill up the little
country of Switzerland; whichever way you look,
their snowy summits rise, range behind range, further
than the eye can follow. We can only get into Italy
from Switzerland by crossing a chain of these high
Alps, and several passes lead from the one country
to the other, as the Spliigen Pass, the Simplon Pass,
and others. Mont Blanc, the highest point in the
Alps, is also the highest mountain in Europe; it
falls within the boundary line of France, and is
15,781 feet in height. Many lovely lakes fill up the
Alpine valleys ; of these, Geneva is the largest.
The Apennine chain, which is a spur of the Alps,
runs through Central Italy from north to south,
reaching into the heel of the boot, and down into
the toe, and under the water, and out again into
Sicily. These mountains are mostly covered with
forests of chestnut trees, the nuts of which are a
common food of the people.
This range contains two volcanoes, or burning
mountains, Vesuvius in Italy, and Etna in Sicily.
These mountains do not always emit fire, but at
times strange rumblings are heard from within
them, and smoke and flame may be seen rising
from an opening at the top called the crater. Then
streams of melted matter, called lava, pour down
the sides of the mountain, and showers of ashes
are shot up into the air and fall upon the plain below.
M6uiy centuries ago, two towns which stood at the
foot of Vesuvius were buried, the one under ashes,
and the other under lava.
Mount Hecla, in Iceland, is also a volcano.
> HOiWTAiirs or eubopk.
The Balkan FeoiDBnla ie fall of mountaiiu, the
valleys between which are often only deep dark
gorges. The Balkan range, which rans throng the
middle of the coantry from west to east, ia sometiaiea
called the back-bone of Tarkey.
Spain is another moimtainons penitiflnla. Thd
Pyrenees Mountains Beparate it from France on the
north, and seTeral ranges oroBS the country from eaat
to west. AU the centre of Spain, that is, nearly
half the peninsula, is a high table-land where aU
green .things are patched up in sumniei for want
Both Ae OarpathiuiB and the varicmB mountain
18 BIYSBS 09 SI7B0PB.
ranges of Germany are rich in mineral treasures, and
many men are employed in the mines. Grold and
silver, qnicksilyer, copper, lead, and iron are found
in these rich mountains.
RIVERS OF EUROPE,
The map of Europe shows many river lines, for
the whole continent is well watered.
The frozen plains of Northern Eussia have, plainly,
a northward slope, because the river Dwina flows in
that direction into the White Sea. During the short,
hot summer of these regions. Archangel, which
stands at the mouth of the Dwina, is the great sea-
port of the north ; 1}ut for more than half the year
no ships can sail in those firost-bound seas.
Look, now, at the Scandinavian peninsula. The
mountains which form the wat&rparting of the country
run from north to south, so the land has an eastern
and a western slope, down each of which the rivers
flow. As the mountains run close to the sea on the
western side, the rivers have very short courses, and
are, for the most part, mountain torrents hurrying to
the ocean. The Swedish rivers have a rather longer
slope to run down, but as they only cross the country
from the mountains to the Baltic Sea, where they
empty themselves, none of these are large or im-«
The central plain of Europe, which lies along the
BIYEBS OF EXJBOPB, 19
southern coasts of the Baltic and North Seas, has a
northward slope, for four or five large rivers empty
themselves into these seas after a northward course.
The Vistula and the Oder flow into the Baltic ; the
Elbe into the North Sea; and further west, the
Bhine, coming out of Holland, enters this same sea.
The Rhine is a wide, and, in its earlier course, a rapid
river, which has its sources in the high Alps. It is
more beautiful than any other river in Europe.
Most of its course is in Germany, and the Germans
love it well and sing songs in its praise.
The Seine, which is spanned by beautiful bridges
and has the fair city of Paris on its banks, is another
northward flowing river which empties itself into the
Our own Thames, upon which London stands,
flows down a slight eastward slope from the Ootswold
Hills to the North Sea. Though much smaller
than many of the rivers of the Continent, it is as
famous as any for its great city, and for all the ships
upon its waters. It has a wide mouth, into which
the tide wave of the sea rushes. This kind of river
mouth is called an estuary.
Now we come to the westward slope of the Conti-
nent, which we can easily discern, as half a dozen
rivers in France and Spain flow in a westerly
Flowing into the Bay of Biscay, is the Loire, a
large French river which often overflows its banks,
to the great distress of the people, whose houses and
crops are thus destroyed.
Further south, the Gironde also opens into the
20 BIYEBS OF SUBOPE.
Bay of Biscay. This is an estuary into which two
French rivers flow.
The chief rivers of Spain^ the Doaro, Tagus,
Guadiana, and Gaadalquivir, flow down a westward
slope towards the Atlantic, into which they empty
themselves. Each of these rivers has its course
between two of the mountain chains which cross the
The EbrOy another large Spanish river, enters the
Mediterranean after a course down an eastward slope.
When we reach the southern shores of Europe, we
expect the land to slope and the rivers to flow south-
ward, as the land usually slopes towards the sea.
This is the case with the Bhone, which rises among
Alpine snows, flows through " Geneva's blue waters,"
makes a few turns upon enteriug France, and then
flows southward with a wonderfully straight and
rapid course to the Mediterranean, where it empties
itself. Bising at so great a height, this river has a
very rapid current ; it tears up the ground in its
hasty course, and briugs with it much earth and
stones, which it lays down at its mouth. Land
formed at the mouth of a river by the mud which it
brings down is called a ddta, from its resemblance to
the Greek letter (A) so called; and most rivers
divide, as the Bhone does, into several mouths when
they reach the deltas they have formed.
The direction of the mountains which fill the two
peninsulas of Italy and the Balkan prevents the
rivers from having a southern course, wherefore we
find that the Fo and the Danube both flow down
- — J
QUESTIONS ON THE MAP OF ETTBOPB. 21
The To, rising like the Bhone in the Alps, is also
a very rapid river which flows across Northern Italy
and into the Adriatic. As both the Fo and its
tributaries rise in high mountains, they tear along
so fast that they bring much earth with them; so
this river, also, has made a delta which stretches
more than ten miles into the sea.
The wide and beautiful " blue Danube " flows into
the Black Sea. You will seCi on the map that M
one part of its course, near where it first forms the
boundary between Boumania and Bulgaria, the
mountains on either side of the river nearly meet.
The narrowest part of this ravine is called the Iron
Gate, where the river flows through a deep and
narrow gorge more than a mile in length.
No mountains divert the courses of the slow rivers
which flow through the flat steppes of Southern
Russia ; therefore these, the Dniester, the Dnieper,
and the Don, creep down a slight southern slope to
the Black Sea. So also does the Volga, which is
the largest of all the rivers of Europe, and flows into
the Caspian Sea. It is a slow, full river, which has
never been near a mountain in all its course, and
which never reaches the real sea ; for the Caspian^
though called a sea, is only a salt-water lake, as it
does not open into the ocean.
Questions on tlie Map of Europe.
1. Name the empire which oooapies the eaat of Europe.
2. What two northern countries form a peninsula ?
3. What country is a small peninsula, pointing to the north ?
4. What country is washed by the Bay of Biscay and the Bnglish
22 QUBSTIONB OK THB KAP OF SUBOFS*
5. How many large peninsnlaB are there in the Bonth of Eoxope ?
6. What two oountries form the most western of these ?
7. Name the oentral peninsula. What small ooontry lies to the
north of it?
8. What two coantries form the eastern peninsnla?
9. Name the two great oentral coantries?
10. What countries of Earope are washed hjthe Mediterranean 7
By the Bay of Biscay? By the North Sea? By the Baltic? By
the Arctic Ocean?
11. Which are the mountainous coantries of Europe ?J
12. What countries belong to the great plain partly or altogether ?
13. What are the Swiss mountains called ?
14. Name the mountains of Italy.
15. What mountains divide France firom Spidn?
16. What mountain-chain orosaes TazlDsy from west to east?
17. Where are the Scandinavian mountains ?
18. What mountains divide Europe from Asia on the east? On
the south ?
19. Name three rivers that flow Into the Baltic.
20. Three that enter the German Ocean.
21. The river on which Paris stands."
22. A river which flows into the Bay of Biscay.
23. The two largest rivers which flow through Spain and
24. A French river which flows into the Mediterranean.
25. An Italian river which falls into the Adriatic.
26. A large river which enters the Black Sea from Turkey.
27. The two largest rivers which enter the Black Sea from
28. The large river which flows into the Caspian.
29. Through what countries does the Danube flow? The Bhine?
30. In what countries are the Po, the Thames, the Elbe, the Volga,
the Seine, the Don, the Loire?
81. What four seas open into each other on the south ? How are
they connected with each other and with the ocean ?
32. Name the countries of Europe which are most broken into by
33. Name the largest islands in each of the sees of Europe. With
what oceans are these seas connected ?
THB BBITI8H ISLES. 23
THB BBITISH ISLES.
WHA.T do we mean by the ** British Isles " ? The
large island which contains the countries of England,
Scotland, and Wales ; and Ireland, the smaller island
to the west. These are certainly the British Isles, in
every way the most important of them ; therefore
the larger island is called Oreat Britain by way of
distinction. Bat the two or three large and the
numerous small islands off the coast of England, and
the hundreds of islands off the Scotch coast, and the
thousands of islets off the coast of Ireland, are also
British isles. These are not gretU Britains by any
means ; some of them are very small indeed, being
merely rocks, rising out of the sea, the wild haunts
of swarms of sea-birds ; others are large enough to
be the homes of a few fisher folk ; others, again, are
large islands with tunna and villages and busy towns
These British Isles keep on the whole close to-
gether, clustering round the large island of Great
Britain; that, again, is only separated from the
Continent by the narrow North Sea and the still
narrower English Channel. If this narrow sea could
be drained away we might go by rail to France and
Holland and Belgium — a delightful idea to persons
who wish to travel on the Continent, while they
dread the miseries of sea-sickness.
So narrow are the Straits of Dover, which connect
the English Channel with the North Sea, that a
THE BBITXBH ISLES. 25
man might walk in a few hours the 21 miles which
here divide England from France.
If the North Sea were to disappear, the slope to the
bottom of its bed would be so slight that we should
hardly know we were going down-hill. Imagine
any of the low green hills of Southern England to
be suddenly lifted from their bases, and set in the
midst of this sea ; they would not be covered, but
would rise as islands, often high above the waters.
Indeed, if the churches in your town could be taken
up a& they stand and placed on the sea floor, the
spires would most likely rise above water ; for the
seas between Britain and the Continent are in few
places more than 150 feet deep.
The fact is, that at one time, ages before " History "
began, there were no British Isles and no North Sea,
but the Continent stretched into the ocean a good
way beyond the furthest coast of Ireland. Now, the
eastern shores of England lie so low in some places
that huge banks have been raised to keep out the
sea; still lower do the opposite coasts of Holland
and Belgium lie; wherefore these are called the
Netherlands, or lowlands, while " Holland " merely
means '* hollow land." It is supposed that the land
which once lay between these two opposite shores
was also low, and that it sank at a slow rate, say a
few inches in a year, until a sunken bed was formed.
Then the waters of the Atlantic rushed in and filled
the hollow, which thus became a narrow, shallow
sea ; and in this way the land we call Great Britain
was cut off from the Continent and surrounded by
water. In the same way, the ocean may have
26 THE BBITI8H ISLB8..
rushed into another hollow bed on the west, aad 8o
made another sea, cutting off the isLand which we
call Ireland. And how are all the small islands
which cluster round the great ones to be ac-
counted for ? Host likely these were at one time
mountains^ rising round the ancient shore; and
when the sea coyered the lowlands, the mountain
tops remained above water, and now appear as
Are you inclined to think it is a pity we should
have been thus cut off from the Continent ? It is,
on the whole, a good thing for us ; we Britons like
to have our island home to ourselves, just as every
English family likes to have a separate dwelling;
while on the Continent it is usual for many fiEunilies
to live in a single large house. Being thus divided
from them by the sea, we need never be disturbed
by the disputes of other nations.
THE BRITISH ISLES.
It would be inconvenient for us, however, if we
were cut off altogether from intercourse with foreign
lands. British people are accustomed to make use
of so many things which come from abroad that we
should be badly off if the supply were stopped. For
instance, what should we do without tea, coffee, and
sugar, rice and treacle, or cotton to make our
THE BBITI8H ISLES, 27
calico? Worse still, what should we do without
bread 1 How sad it would be if there were not bread
enough to be had for money to feed eyerybody in
our swarming towns I You think, perhaps, it is only
fruits^ and spices which will not flourish in our
climate that we need to fetdi from abroad, but that
wheat and rye, oats and barley, grow freely in the
British Isles. But the fact is, there are a great
many more people in Britain, in England especially^
than there is room to grow food for. If we were
Bot a deyer, industrious people, able to make things
which other nations are glad to have instead of com,
we should be badly off.
But we make cotton stuffs and woollen stuffs, and
every kind of article made of iron, besides many
other useful things ; and large countries, like parts
of America and Bussia, which have room to grow
more com than their people can eat» are glad enough
to send us some of it in return for our manufactured
goods, coal, and other things.
Thus you see the British Isles depend a great deal
upon this kind of exchange, which is called cammeree.
As Great Britain is an island, it can only trade
with the rest of the world by means of ships ; ships
must carry out whatever British traders want to
seU ; ships must bring in such things as they wish to
buy. Now, it is really a great deal easier and cheaper
to fetch and carry on the sea than on land : the sea
belongs to everybody, so it is free ; while, if there
were no water-way, it would be necessary to pay some
foreign ruler for leave to pass through his country.
Again, no rails need be laid down, nor roads kept in
28 THB BBTMBH ISLBS.
order, for the ships to go upon. That breakixig<-in
of the ocean which made Britain an island pre-
pared the way for her to become a great nation ; for
the waters which divide her from all other lands
are bat highways for her ships. Then, the British
seamen are hardy and brave, often brought up within
sound of the sea, and come of forefathers who lived
aboard ship ; the blood of the hardy Norsemen —
Sax<ms and Danes — runs in British veins.
There is perhaps no other country in the world
quite so well placed for carrying on wide traffic on
the seas. Fix a globe in such a position that one
half will show nearly all the land in the world, the
other half nearly all the water; the map on the
opposite page shows you these hemispheres of land and
water. Notice how Britain lies — in the centre of
the land hemisphere, with open sea-way to every
country in the world that is not shut up in the
middle of a continent Across the narrow seas are
various countries of Europe ; to the west, across the
broad Atlantic, lies America. A ship sailing south
skirts the African coast. Bounding the point of
Africa, she may either sail north to the countries
of Southern Asia, or eastward to the great island
It is a happy thing, also, that the seas round
Britain are always open, and neither frost-bound,
so that ships cannot enter them, nor made dan*
gerous by floating icebergs. This is due partly
to her latUude^ her place in the north temperate
zone ; but no other lands which lie between 50° and
60° N. lat. have quite so pleasant a climate as
80 THB OBUIBl 01* TBI ^BIACFULL.'
Britain. One reason for this is that soft, moist
winds blow from the south-west, across the ocean, and
these winds make our winter days warmer, and our
summer days cooler, than they would be if ours were
an inland country. The influence of the warm Gulf
Stream is also, as we have seen, among the causes
which temper the ch'mate of Britain.
In point of size, the British Isles, important as they
are, fonn only a very small part of the vast British
Empire, upon which " the sun never sets." To begin
in the east, and go round with the sun, our sove-
reign's dominions include the whole of Australia ; the
great country of India and two or three small pos-
sessions in Asia ; the countries at the southern end of
Africa, and some settlements on the West Coast ;
Gibraltar and some islands in the Mediterranean in
Europe ; all the northern lands of North America,
and some small possessions in South America; the
large islands of New Zealand in the Pacific, and
several important islands in the Atlantic. Thus
we see there are British Possessions in each of the
Continents, and in every region of the globe.
THE OBUISE OP THB SEAGULL.
The Seagull is a yacht, which, we propose, shall
skim with white sail right round Great Britain ; shall
circumnavigate that island, in fact, with ourselves on
board. In this way we shall make sure if the maps
are right, and if Great Britain is an island indeed.
ENC LAN D
82 THE OBUISE OF THE ' SBAOULL.'
The first person we read of who made this coasting
voyage was Julius Agricola^ a great general who
did much to subdue Britain for the Bomans. It
was all new to him ; he went round the island that
he might see the country, for he could not learn all
about it from books of geography, as we may.
We shall start from Spithead, which is not a cape,
as you might imagine, but is a broad, quiet harbour,
where many ships may lie at anchor ; it is the eastern
half of the channel which divides the Isle of Wight
from Hampshire, and so it is sheltered by the island
from the rough sea-winds. We stop a little in this
harbour, or roadsteady as it is called, to look at the
beautiful green island, the "garden of England,"
where the white houses nestle among green trees,
and spreading branches overarch the lanes. . It is
no wonder that Byde and Cowes and the other
pretty towns of the island are generally full of
Let us cross the water and enter Portsmouth
Harbour, which is a large, still haven, with stately
men-of-war lying at anchor. Portsmouth is what is
C€dled a naval port — that is to say, the ships of the
navy come here to be repaired after stormy voyages,
or after fighting some enemy on the open sea. Here
too, war-ships are built, and here they are supplied
with beef and bread, and blankets, and whatever else
is needed for a long voyage.
Our <* gull " shoots forward, past Selsea Bill, past
the low, shingly Sussex coast, where there are three
or four warm, pleasant, bathing-places, of which
Brighton is the gayest and most fashionable. Crowds
THB OBUISE OF THE * SBAOULL.' 33
of fishing-smacks swarm about us, all out for the
mackerel fishing. They will be out all night, and
early in th5 morning boatloads of beautifully marked,
shining fish will be emptied for sale upon the beaches
of the fishing towns.
That great, white headland stretching out before
us is Beachy Head, whose cliffs of white chalk rise
600 feet from the sea.
After passing a bit of low shore, we come again
upon white cliffs—
<< The white chalk oliffs of Dover.**
That is Dover Castle upon the cliff, and yonder is a
passenger-boat crossing to Calais^ for we are in the
Strait of Dover.
Bounding the point called the South Foreland —
Fore-lsjid, because it comes forward, comes to the
fore — we are careful to keep close to shore, and find
ourselves in strangely still water. We are in the
Doums, which' is another roadstead or harbour.
But what shuts it in? We see land on the left,
but nothing save open sea on the right. There is
land on this side also, though we cannot see it ; — a
high sandbank ten miles long rises nearly to the
surface of the water, and shuts in these road» for the
ships. These Goodwin Sands form a friendly haven
for vessels within the Downs; but outside, the
mariners dread the treacherous banks, for many a
good ship has struck upon them.
We pass the North Foreland, and turn towards a
great opening on our left. There are busy towns on
the shores, and much shipping is around us ; and the
84 THB OBUISE OF THE ' BEAOULL.'
further we go up this opening, the more do we seem
to be sailing through a forest of masts. We are going
up with the tide, and at the same time a river is
forcing itself down to the sea. We are in the broad
estuary of the Thames, the chief of English rivers.
The ships have all come to bring merchandise to
London, the greatest city and the greatest port in the
world ; or to carry away the goods which th^ London
merchants send all over the globe. There are large
docks — quiet pools, walled round — ^built on each side
of the river to hold the ships.
THB CRUISE OP THE SEAGULL.
We sail out of the Thames, and northward, past the
low, flat shores of the eastern counties. Again, we
find ourselves amongst a host of brown-sailed fishing-
smacks. We are in a herring fishery this time —
the great Yarmouth fishery, and the silvery herring
will be carried into this pleasant seaport^town,
to be salted and dried and made into ^' Yarmouth
Bounding the eastern shoulder of England, we
find ourselves in the Wash, and into this opening
four slow, dull rivers empty themselves — the Witham,
the Welland, the Nen, and the Great Ouse. The
Fens lie all round the Wash, and stretch far inland.
These Fens are quite the lowest part of the eastern
THE GBUISE OF THE 'SEAGULL.' 35
counties, and lie so very low that in some places the
sea is only kept out by means of embankments and
To look at it on the map, one would think the
Wash would be a capital place for ships, but it is
full of shifting sandbanks, and is not at all safe.
The Humber, the next large opening we enter, is
also full of these dangerous sandbanks. It is the
estuary of two rivers — the Trent, the great middle
river of England, and the Ouse, which flows through
Yorkshire. Upon its northern shore stands the large
seaport town of Hull. A glance at the map of
Europe will enable us to judge with what countries
Hull trades. Across the North Sea, and through
the narrow channels which lead into the Baltic, do
her ships go, and from the countries round the Baltic
they bring corn, timber, flax, tallow, and hides.
No cape upon the east coast stands out to sea so
boldly as Flamborough Head. A lighthouse rises
from its cliffs of white chalk ; and upon these cliffs
in ages long gone by the Danes kept up huge bon-
fires to light their black ships over the stormy sea.
Thus this cape came by its name, the headland of
As we sail northwards we pass the mouths' of the
Tees, the Wear, and the Tyne, all full of shipping,
because there are busy seaport towns upon each of
these three rivers. The chief of these ports is New-
castle on the Tyne. "Coal to Newcastle" people
say when you give them more of what they have
too much of already. He would be indeed a foolish
merchant who sent coal to Newcastle ; for it stands
36 THE CBUISE OF THE * SEAGULL.'
upon a wide coalfield, and sends out thousands of
vessels every year, which carry Newcastle coal to
London, to France, to the Baltic, and to the coun-
tries round the Mediterranean.
Passing many colliers^ we sail by the little Fam
Islands, upon one of which Grace Darling lived, and
by Holy Island, the home of holy men in days when
much of Britain was pagan. You are wondering,
perhaps, who Grace Darling was. She was a brave
girl, whose father took care of the lighthouse on
Fam Island, and who saved some shipwrecked
mariners in a terrible storm at great risk of her
own life. At last we come in sight of Berwick, the
border town where England and Scotland meet.
And now we have sailed up the whole of the
eastern side of England. We have seen some
dreary-looking sandy wastes here and there. We
have passed a few busy seaports and some pleasant-
looking bathing-places. Bat nearly everywhere, at
a little distance from the shore, we have seen farm-
lands — green meadows or pasture-fields, with cattle
feeding in them; corn-fields, or turnip- or clover-
fields. Farming is the chief work carried on in
the eastern counties; and the land lies so low'
nearly all along the coast that from the deck of
our boat we are able to see a good way inland. We
catch sight of many snug farm-houses in pleasant
spots ; and we see the labourers abroad in the fields,
and the scattered villages where these farm-labourers
ROUND NORTH BEITAJN.
"N.B." people nsiiftlly put on letters addresaed to
Edinburgh or Glasgow ; and in this case " NJB."
means, not Nota Bene — " Take Notice " — bat " North
Britain." Scotland ia North Britain, and South
Britain consists of England and Wales.
We still make steadily northwards, keeping as
dose to the shore aa we can, in order to see if
BASa BOOK, nBTB Of TOBTB.
there is anything to mark the fact that we have
left England behind and are coasting Scotland.
Long ranges of rather bare rounded hills, with
eheep feeding on the short tarf npon their slopes,
stretch nearly to the coast. One mjige, the Lam-
mermuir Hills, ends in St. Abb's Head, What is
SCAL£ OP MfLES
^ m n » Af M>f Mf
BOmO) NOBTH BRITAIN. 89
that curious mass of rock rising like a sugar-loaf
steep out of the sea? That is the Bass Bock,
400 feet high, and so steep that only on one side
is it possible to land upon it. And now we are in
the broad, beautiful Firth of Forth. This name
shows we are in another country ; there are no firths
in Eugland, but you will find many on the map of
Scotland. Firth (fiord) is the old Norse name for
an estuary or opening ; and the Firth of Forth is
the estuary of the river Forth.
A sail up the Forth is full of interest ; there are
pleasure-boats and fishing-smacks and a few mer-
chantmen upon the waters, but not many of these
last, for there are no good harbours in the Forth.
Even Leith, the seaport of Edinburgh, cannot give
comfortable quarters to the ships that ply her trade.
We pass busy towns on either shore, and pleasant
bathing-places, standing among trees and gardens;
and we see the fisher-wives come down to the boats
to get their stock of " caller herrin* " (fresh herring).
In what a curious way they carry their fish 1 Those
huge, deep baskets on their backs, supported by
means of a leathern strap passed round their fore-
beads, are quite new to us.
We must land to see the beautiful city of Edin-
burgh, the capital of Scotland. The old town and
the new town are built upon two opposite hills,
facing each other, and the valley between them is
laid out in pleasant gardens.
The tall, quaint old houses of the old town — eight
or nine stories high sometimes — rise on the steep
hill-side, street above street, in the strangest way.
40 BOT7ND NOBTH BBITAIN.
And at one end of this hill is the castle of Edin-
burghy which looks so like the great rocks on which
it is built that you might take it for part of the
At the other end of the old town is the beautiful
palace of Holyrood, the home of the Scottish kings
when Scotland had its own sovereign : and not only
to ancient Holyrood, but to half the houses in the old
streets, strange tales of other days belong.
Edinburgh is not a busy trading or manufacturing
town like London ; it is quite small in comparison ;
and perhaps the printing and publishing of books is
the chief trade carried on there.
Sailing out of the Forth, and up the North Sea,
we are warned that there is danger ahead by the
lighthouse which stands opposite to the mouth of the
Tay. As it is high water, this lighthouse seems to
rise sheer out of the sea ; but we know it must be
built upon the Bell Bock, that famous Inchcape
Bock to which belongs the story of the Abbot of
Aberbrothok and his bell*
We have not .time to go up the silver Tay, not even
to see the seaport town of " bonnie Dundee."
Continuing northwards, we pass a rock-bound
coast with huge caverns in the cliffs in which are
swarms of sea-birds ; and we row into one of these
caverns with lighted torches, to the terror of the
birds, which flap about us and scream in an alarming
way. The Bullers of Buchan are famous arched
rocks upon this coast.
Before reaching Buchan-Ness, we should have
stopped on our way to see Aberdeen, a seaport town
Bonn) NORTH BRITAIN. 41
at the mouth of the Dee, as its name might tell us,
for Aher means river mouth. We may see ships
being laden at its wharves with a heavy freight —
pillars, slabs, fountains, and other objects made of
polished granite. There are granite quarries near
the town ; and much of this beautiful stone is
brought here from the Cairngorm mountains also,
to be poUshed in the famous granite works of
Bounding the great eastern shoulder, a straighter
shoulder than that of England, we go by a low
straight coast towards the Moray Firth. If we enter
this Firth, we may sail right through Scotland by
the Caledonian Canal, which cuts the country in
two ; but we have yet much to see before we make
for the west.
Northward still, up to Duncansby Head and
across the boisterous Pentland Firth, we go, for we
are bound for the Orkneys. How our little boat is
tossed about in this stormy channel, and how thank-
ful we are to near land ! There is not much to repay
us for our rough voyage. We land upon Pomona,
the largest of the islands, and from there cruise about
among the dozen or so of larger islands which are
inhabited. There are over sixty of these Orkney
Isles altogether, but of these, some forty barren and
desolate islets are left altogether to the sea-fowl and
rabbits. Those which are inhabited are dreary
enough, consisting of little but wide heather wastes,
huge boulders, sandhills full of rabbit warrens,
swamps, and lakes. Occasionally, in a sheltered spot,
a patch of com is to be seen ; and there are many
42 THE OOSAN BHOBBB.
fishing villages on the shores. The people live upon
fish, and trade with fish, and very fishy their villages
smell. Cod-fish, lobsters, and herrings are sent hence
to the London markets.
A sail across a channel nearly fifty miles wide
brings us to another group of which we know some-
thing beforehand. We are familiar with the shaggy
little Shetland ponies ; and every one has seen the
fine, beautiful knitting of the Shetland women, in
veils and shawls and other woollen garments. Is it
our fancy, or are these islands really more rainy and
misty and desolate, more swampy and rocky than the
Orkneys ? Again we see rabbits disappearing in the
sandhills; the islands swarm with them, aod the
Shetlanders make a good deal by selling their skins.
These are a larger group of islands than the Orkneys,
and as many as forty are inhabited. Mainland is
THE OCEAN SHORES.
Look at the map and you will see that the Ocean
shore is the western shore, for much of Western
Scotland is washed, not by some narrow sea, but by
the broad Atlantic itself. Did you ever see such a
ragged and broken coast, bordered by a perfect
fringe of islands ? There is one other country on the
map of Europe with such another jagged edge —
Norway, further to the north; and the shores of
Norway, also, are ocean-washed.
Western Scotland is fiill of mountain ranges which
end close to the shore and between these ranges
are long valleys np which the ocean tushes fillug
them and thus we have the long deep "lochs '
which cut up tliiB coast
Let us ronad Cape Wrath and sail down the
western coast to explore some of these lochs We
need not enter more than two or three for they are
all much alike — narrow mountain glens with a floor
of sea. We are impressed by the stillness and
strangeness of the scene, the awful height of the
cliffs, and the clear depths of the loch, which reflects
every bush, almost every blade of grass. Tet there
are sounds in the stillness, — the endless calls of the
sesr-birds and the roar of the waves beyond the loch.
Signs of life there are, too. Those white dots as big
as mbshrooms are sheep which have straggled high
up the cliffs in search of the scanty herlmge they
yield. See I thete is one now making for " fresh
fields and pastures sew." These mountain sheep
44 THE OOSAK BH0BK8.
become as nimble and snre-footed as goats. In
another loch, not even a leaping goat disturbs the
stillness ; so sheer and steep do its mountain walls
rise from the sea that there is no foothold for the
How is it that, being on the Atlantic, we do not
see the sun set in the sea, but behind mountainous
land which lies to the west ? Those are the heights
of the Hebrides, the Western Isles, several of which
stretch in a long row that is sometimes called Long
We are in the channel called the '^ Minch/' and
may either sail across to those Ovier Hebrides, of
which Lewis is the largest, or we may keep close to
the mainland and explore Skye, the largest of the
Inner Hebrides. These islands are not like the
rather flat and dreary groups to the north-east.
Many of them, Skye especially, are wild and beauti-
ful, with mountains, waterfalls, and lakes ; and many
9ummer visitors come to fish in the lochs or to shoot
over the moors.
The islanders are busy enough, both in summer
and winter; they fish, rear large herds of black
cattle, and, in every house, they make enough
cloth for their own clothes, and tables and benches
for their use.
We must visit lona, the Holy Island of Scotland,
a bare little isle, where good missionaries lived and
taught iu days when Scotland was a pagan land.
Stafia, too, we must see, for the sake of its famous
cavern, which looks as if cunning workmen had built
its walls of countless regular columns of polished
THB OOEAN 8H0BBS. 45
stone. It is about seveDty yards loDg, and is one of
the most remarkable cayems in the world.
We are anxious to get into the Firth of Clyde,
and as there is a shorter way, we shall not round the
curious long tongue of land called the Mull of
Gantyre. We must be content to miss Jura, and
Islay, the " Queen of the Hebrides." A canal has
been cut across the top of the long " Mull," through
which we go, and soon find ourselves in the lovely
Firth of Clyde. It is a broad, beautiful estuary,
with islands rising out of it ; its banks are high and
wooded ; and handsome houses, and pleasant bright
watering-places stand among the trees. As we sail
up the river we leave trees and pleasure places
behind and find ourselves between long lines of
building yards, where there are vessels in every stage
of progress. Higher still, and we are among wharves
full of sea-going ships, and presently we arrive at
the large and busy seaport of Glasgow, the busiest
town in Scotland.
Sailing down the narrow North Channel which
divides Scotland from Ireland, we come out so close
to the Isle of Man that we may as well run across.
It is 30 miles long, and has two or three pleasant
bathiug-places on its shores. There is a range of
hills in the middle of the island. The people are
called Manx, and had formerly a strange language of
their own. The herring fishery occupies many of
the inhabitants, and others work in the lead mines
and slate quarries of the island. One odd thing
that everybody knows about the Isle of Man is that
the Manx cats have no tails
46 THE PBINOIPALITT.
We have not time to explore the north-west coast
of England, nor even to see the red headland of St.
Bees. We make direct for Liverpool, the great seia-
port of the west, and one of the most famous in the
world. What crowds of ships there are in its long
line of docks ! — ships from every part of the world-
Many of these have come from America with cargoes
of cotton, for Liverpool is the port to which all the
raw cotton is brought for our great Lancashire
Wales is ** the Principality " now, because the eldest
son of the English sovereign is Prince of Wales. At
one time Wales had a prince of its own who spoke
the native Welsh language. But these wild Welsh
princes and their wilder people were troublesome
neighbours to the English. They were constantly
breaking over the border, and carrying off crops and
To put an end to this state of things the English
king, Edward I., came with an army, conquered
Wales, and had the last of the Welsh princes put to
death at Shrewsbury. Most likely you know what
followed ; how the Welsh were so sad to lose their
chief that the king promised them another native
prince who could not speak a word of English,
and brought out his own little baby son, born in
Carnarvon Castle, at least so the story goes.
THE PBINOIPALITT. 47
English is spoken in some of the towns now, but
the country people understand only their native
tongue. Follow a group of market-women as they
trot along the road, knitting in hand and chattering
fast in Welsh, and you feel you are really in a foreign
country; and quite foreign these women look in
their tall beaver hats, something like the tall hats
worn by men in England, and their handsome
The word " Wales " means ** foreign," land of the
foreigners. This name was given to the country by
the Saxons who conquered England, because they
looked on the people of Wales as foreigners. But,
in fact, the Welsh should have been a great deal
more at home in England than these Saxon con-
querors, for they were the old British people to
whom all Britain once belonged. They were driven
westward to take shelter in this mountain land by
these strangers from over the sea; and there they
have remained ever since.
To turn them out of Wales was too hard a task
for any English king; for the country is full of
mountains dnd ravines and wild hiding-places, where
the natives were safe, because no English array could
find them out.
Now, however, Wales is quite a part of England,
and numbers of English people go every year to spy
out these secret hiding-places. For many parts of
this mountain country are exceedingly beautiful, and
there is no pleasanter way of spending a summer
holiday than in exploring the lovely valleys and
majestic mountains of North Wales.
48 THX PBINOIPALITT.
Tourists generally enter Wales by way of the
city of Chester ; we may follow the Dee valley as
far as the lovely Vale of Llangollen, or we may go
by the north coast, where there is much to be seen.
First, we stop at Holywell, a rather large and busy
town, to see the well of Saint Winifred. This is a
wonderful spring which is always pouring out an
immense stream of water ; and for centuries it was
believed that whoever drank of this water would be
cured of whatever disease be had. Saint Winifred
was a holy maiden whose head was struck off by a
cruel knight; and where the head fell, says the
legend, this beautiful spring gushed out ; wherefore
it was a holy well with power to work miraculous
cures. But people are too wise nowadays to believe
these pretty legends.
We walk out upon Great Orme's Head and are
nearly blown away by the strong wind ; and we
go over the old castle of Conway; and then go
on to Bangor, to see the huge Penrhyn slate
quarries, in which hundreds of men swarm like
so many ants. From Bangor, .we cross the Menai
Bridge, a wonderful suspension bridge hung so high
above the Menai Straits that the largest ships cail
pass full-sail underneath. Or we may get by rail
into the island of Anglesea, across the famous
Britannia Bridge. It was found necessary to make
this railway bridge, which is more than a quarter of
a mile long, because many persons go from Chester to
Anglesea, in order to take the Dublin packet from
Holyhead. These used to be ferried ever to the
island ; but in stormy weather no boat could cross
THE PBINCIPALITT. 49
the strait, and the passengers ran the risk of missing
the steamboat which should take them to Ireland.
We see the copper-mines of Anglesea, and return by
one of the bridges, for we wish to get to Carnarvon,
that we may go over the castle where the first English
Prince of Wales was bom.
And now we are near one of the great sights of
North Wales, the mighty Snowdon, the monarch of
British mountains ; or, at any rate, the highest south
of the Clyde (3590 feet). There he stands, with his
three great summits of nearly equalheight, surrounded
by other lofty mountains, as a king by his noble
courtiers. Indeed, nearly the whole of Wales is full
of mountains : towering heights, and deep glens, and
lovely vales, and waterfalls, meet us everywhere.
Going almost due south from Snowdon, through
the beautiful mountainous county of Merioneth, we
reach Cader Idris, another of the giants of the land.
And, further south, almost in a line with the other
two, is the huge mass of Plynlimmon, which, like
Snowdon, has three summits. We must climb this
mountain and search in its bosom for the source ot
the Severn, the queen of our English rivers.
A good deal of Central Wales, though mountainous,
is not beautiful : it is a dreaiy waste of craggy
height and moor and marsh. And the black mountains
of South Wales receive their name from the dark and
gloomy appearance they present — especially when
the heather is not in bloom.
There is a very large coalfield in South Wales, and
at Swansea there are great smelting works to which
the copper ore of Cornwall is sent to be smelted, that
50 THE WSSHQIM hobn.
is, to have the copper melted^ and so separated firoin
the earth it is mixed with.
We have not had time to visit Dolgelly and
Welshpool and the other flannel-making towns of
North Wales. Nor can we see St. David's Head,
nor Milford Haven, the fine harbour in Pembroke-
THE WESTERN HORN.
Just because the coast of this strangely shaped
horn is the most beautiful and interesting part of our
English seaboard, we must not linger now to explore
it. This western horn begins at the mouth of the
Severn and stretches westward to the Land's End,
pushing boldly forth into the stormy ocean, and
nearly every mile of the way has some beauty or
We start from Bristol, the second great seaport of
the west, in whose harbour are crowded ships from
the south and east, ships from the warm countries
round the Mediterranean, and ships from Ireland ;
and these have brought in stores of good things,
dried fruits and wine-, butter and bacon. On we go,
past the lovely cliff-coasts of North Devon, where
shrubs and flowering plants grow down to the water's
edge. The towns and villages are perched upon the
high cliffs, or nestle in suug green valleys with
rocky walls. The Cornish coast is more rugged
than that of Devon, but nothing can be more
beautifal tliaa the little porth$, oi iulets where the
broken cliffs let in the sea.
As we a^l towards the Land's 'Eai, we can see the
Cornish heights swelling, mgged and bare, all through
the middle of the peninsula. Barren as they look, we
know that these hills and moors are really rich ; that
thousands of miners are constantly at work, digging
out the veins of tin and copper ore which run ander
this rough crust
How the people are swarming upon the beach t
and what are those boats about ? We are below the
town of St. Ives, and the pilchards are coming ; we
can see the great shoal darkening the waters in the
distance. The fishers are letting out the huge mine
net, with which they catch millions in a single taking.
And now we are at the Xjand's End itself^a good name
52 THE WE8T£BN HORN.
for this lofty grauite table, round which the furious
ocean dashes and roars ! LanJCs End indeed, for
between it and far distant America is nothing but
the wide Atlantic waters.
Past Mount's Bay, and round to the Lizard we go ;
and here we must see the caves, the Parlour and the
Drawing-room, whose walls are of a beautiful striped
rock of various colours.
We pass the Eddystone, and wonder how it was
possible to build a lighthouse so far out to sea. As
a storm is rising, we make for Plymouth Sound ; for
once within the Breakwater, we know we are safe.
This huge stone wall, rising from the sea-bottom,
keeps out the breakers, and the waters within the
Sound are still as a lake. Plymouth is a busy town,
being a large naval port to which the ships of the
navy come and go. There is a famous dockyard
here where these ships are built or repaired and
supplied with everything necessary for a long voyage.
We must not stop to look at the beautiful combes
of South Devon; these are valleys between hill
ranges, where the villages nestle amongst apple
orchards. Nor can we go up the Exe, to see the
city of Exeter, the " Queen of the West." As we
pass the Dorset coast, we notice Portland Point, a
curious long narrow tongue of land which stretches
far into the sea. Presently, we are once more in
Spithead, the spot we started from ; and we Tcnow
that Great Britain is an island, because we have
sailed round it.
FBOH JOHN 0'aB0AT*8 TO LAND*8 END. 53
FROM JOHN O'GROAT'S TO LAND'S END.
John O'Gboat built himself a honse on the beach
near Duncansby Head. From that point to Land's
End is the greatest length of Great Britain, 600
miles ; a distance which it would take a man five
weeks to walk at the rate of twenty miles a day.
The first part of the journey, as far as Glenmore,
is through the Highlands. Look at the map, and
you will see how few towns are marked in this
district, and how many mountains, rivers, and lakes.
It is a huge, high tableland, a heather waste, with
bogs and granite boulders ; where high, solitary
mountains rise, rugged and bare, above the rest,
such as Ben More, Ben Wyvis, Ben Attow, all over
3000 feet. " Ben " is the Gaelic word for mountain.
This rugged land is thinly inhabited by a Gaelic
people, and the few Highlanders we meet wear the
short petticoat, or kilt, speak only in Gaelic, and, if
they are musical, play upon the bagpipes.
What are their occupations ? Many of them look
after the mountain sheep and herds of black cattle
you may see trying to gather a scanty living in
these craggy pastures.
This district is far too mountainous and barren to
be cultivated, and, indeed, hardly yields food for the
cattle; so these and the sheep are brought in due
time to various fairs by the Highland drovers, aided
by their clever dogs. There they are bought by
Lowland farmers, and are driven either to the Scotch
54 FROM JOHN o'oBOAt's TO LAND's END.
Lowlands or to rich English pastures to be fattened
for the market. The trysts of Falkirk are the most
famous of these cattle fairs.
The Highlanders have another occupation. Every
autumn brings many strangers to these high moor-
lands, who corae to " stalk " the red deer, to shoot
grouse, or to fish for salmon or trout in the lakes
and streams ; and to these gentlemen many of the
natives hire themselves out as guides and servants.
Glenmore, the long, narrow valley or ** dip " which
goes across the country from Loch Linnhe to the
Moray Firth, has at the bottom of it a line of lakes,
long and narrow like itself. These have been joined
together by cuttings made to hold water; so that
a long waterway, which is called the Caledonian
Canal, passes right through Scotland. Glenmore,
with its lakes, is only an example of the countless
long narrow glens with long narrow lakes which cut
up the whole of these northern Highlands.
To the south of Glenmore the ground rises again,
and we are once more in the Highlands. Here,
a wide-spreading mountain chain, 100 miles long,
runs across the country. This is the Grampian
range, which has the highest mountains, not only in
Scotland, but in Great Britain, namely, Ben Nevis
and Ben Macdhui, both over. 4000 feet high ; and
great hoary giants they are, which wear a snow cap
half the year, and bury their heads in the clouds.
Ben Ledi and Ben Lomond are not so high, but
they attract more visitors ; for these mountains rise
where the barren highlands border on the green and
fertile lowlands. Where tliisis the case the country
FBOM JOHN OOBOATS TO LAND*B Kin). 55
is exceedingly beautiful ; and many yisitors oome
yearly to see the Tro8a>eh8 — a wooded ravine and
mountain pass which opens out upon lovely lakes
with towering mountains round them. There is
Loch Katrine, with " fair Ellen's isle," and, further
on, Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Britain, with
wooded islands upon its bosom.
Now we enter the Lowlands — ^the broad valleys of
the Forth and Clyde ; this is a green and pleasant
country, and only low as compared with the High-
lands we have just left. From the rather steep hill
on which Stirling Castle stands we have a delightful
view of the plains, where we see green pasture-fields,
wide farms, and sparkling streams. The '^ Links of
Forth " are the most curious sight ; the river doubles
and turns again and again in its green valley, so that
it looks like the links of a chain. This part of
Scotland is a great farming district; perhaps no-
where in the world is land better farmed than here,
especially in the eastern counties, where potatoes
are grown in great quantities for the London
market. The Scots themselves prefer oatmeal
porridge and oat-cake, and oats are the principal
In this part of Scotland, too, lie the coal-fields,
and here are the manufacturing .towns : Paisley and
Kenfrew, famous for shawls and woollen goods;
Carron, near Falkirk, and Airdrie, for ironworks;
Grlasgow, for cotton, woollen, and other manu-
&cture8; Dundee and Dunfermline, further north,
for linen ; Stirling and Galashiels, for Scotch tweedy
56 FROM JOHN o'gBOAt's TO LAND's END.
Southern Scotland is another ^^ Highlands/' though
less lofty and rugged than the northern. It is
crossed by several ranges of hills — ^the Cheviots,
which divide Scotland from England, the Lowthers,
the Ochils, and others. These ranges are all very
much alike, consisting of smooth, grassy hills, with-
out any particular beauty, whereon many sheep are
fed. The river valleys or " dales " between these
are, however, often very beautiful.
The Lowland Scotch are like the English in every
way; they speak the same language and have
much the same national character, because, like the
English, they are descended from Saxon tribes who
settled north as well as south of the Tweed. These
drove the ancient people of Scotland to take refuge
among the northern mountains, just as the Saxons
who took England drove the Britons into Wales.
For this reason the Highlanders still speak the old
Gaelic tongue, and are a distinct people in their
customs and dress, as well as in their language.
For nearly three centuries Scotland has been
under the rule of the same king or queen as Eng-
land, because it so happened that when the English
Queen Elizabeth died, the King of Scotland was her
nearest relative, and was therefore the next heir to
the English throne. Before that time, when Scot-
land had a king of its own, the two countries were
seldom at peace. The land on each side of the
Cheviots was called "the Border," and the Scotch
and English " Borderers " made continual war upon
FBOM JOHN o'GBOAt's TO LAKD'b END. 57
FROM JOHN O'GROArS TO LAND'S END.
Having crossed the Cheviots, we may now try to get
a " bird's-eye view " of England.
The great moorland ridge, called the Pennine
chain, which runs through ^Northern England as &r
as Derbyshire, divides the three northern counties on
the estst from the three on the west. These moors
are wild heather wastes, over which it is not easy to
tramp ; and there are deep ravines among the rocks,
and huge crags and boulders scattered about, and
wide morasses, like sponges filled with water, into
which one might easily sink. From these do the
bonny rivers which flow down the slope on either
side gather their waters. No river crosses the
moors, because the Pennine chain is the water-
partinff of Northern England, that is, it divides the
rivers which flow down one slope from those which
flow down the other.
Close under the hills, and stretching from Leeds
to Nottingham, is a Wide coal-field, and upon this
coal-field are built many busy towns engaged in a
great manufacture for which coal is needed. These
are the clothing towns, Leeds, Bradford, Halifax,
Huddersfield, and others, where wool is spun and
woven into cloths and stufis; and the wool is
cleansed in the pretty rivers, whose waters are
further blackened with dye-stuffs.
Sheffield is another busy town upon the Yorkshire
58 FBOM JOHN 0'OB0AT*B TO LAND's SRD.
coal-field ; it is famous all over the world for its knives
and other edge-tools. On the Lancashire side of the
hills there is another coal-field ; and upon this, also,
are some of the largest and busiest towns in England,
which bristle all over with tall mill-chimneys.
This district is the seat of the great cotton
manufacture, of which Manchester, the largest town
in England after London, is the centre. Preston,
Bolton, Blackburn, Bury, Wigan, and other towns
are engaged in making the cotton cloths which
English ships carry all over the world.
On the eastern side, the moors slope down to the
broad valley of the Ouse, which is called the Vale
of York; it is well covered with cornfields and
pasture-fields, farms and villages, and is the largest
valley in England. The ancient city of York, which
contains the most stately and beautiful cathedral in
the country, stands upon the Ouse.
The Pennine Mountains are grand and rugged^
but they are less famous for their beauty than are
the Cumbrian Group, which fill much of the counties
of Cumberland and Westmorland with rugged fells
and towering peaks. Three of these, Helvellyn,
Skiddaw, and Scafell, are over 3000 feet in height,
and are the highest mountains in England. These
mountains do not run in a line, but are gathered
together, one great ridge swelling up behind another ;
and between the ridges are. lovely valleys, and at the
bottom of many of the valleys lie still, blue lakes.
We must not linger in this beautiful Lake Distrief ;
nor must we stop at the Peak^ the name which is
given to the rugged and beautiful mountain country
FROU JOHN o'OBOAT's TO LAMD's XND. 69
in which the moors of the Pennine chain end. Past
the silk-mills of Derby town and over the Trent
riyer, we hasten onwards to Bardon Hill, in Leicester-
shire. It is quite a low hill, which does not rise
much higher from the ground than a church steeple ;
but it is well worth climbing, because from its
summit about a quarter of England may be seen.
This must be a very flat part of the country, you
will say, to be seen from so low a hill. It is true ;
the middle of England is a wide plain, though we
must not picture it to ourselves as perfectly flat ;
pleasant uplands with clumps of trees rise every-
where excepting in the east. There, round the
Wash, and stretching far inland, are the low fen-
lands, from which the river waters can hardly be
carried away, and the sea can hardly be kept out.
But we shall see all this from our hill. To the
west of us the view is cut off by a thick smoke-
cloud. This cloud hangs over the " Black Country,"
so called because a great industry is carried on there
which blackens trees, and buildings, and the very
air. South Staffordshire and North Warwickshire
lie under this smoke-cloud ; below the surface there
is a wide coal-field, where many pitmen labour ; and,
above ground, there are many blast-furnaces belching
out smoke and flame, and large furnaces lit up by
the glare of red-hot metal, and noisy with the
dang of many hammers. These are the great iron-
works of England, where machines and tools, bed-
steads, grates, gates, and all kinds of iron articles
are manufactured. Iron lies under the surface here
along with the coal which is necessary to work it.
GO FBOH JOHN O GBOATB TO LAND B EMS.
Most of the labouring men are worberB in iron ; and
the towns, Wolverhampton, Bilston, Dudley, and
some others, produce iron goods. Birmingham is
the largest and most famous of these towns ; it is a
place where many curious and useful manufactures
are carried on — pins, pens, buttons, bolts, and other
things small and great, from a screw to a huge
engine, are made here.
We can discern another smoke-cloud to the north
of this; it must lie oyer North StaObrdshire, where,
we know, are the Potteries. Most of the earthen-
ware used in England, as well as a great deal which
is sent abroad, is manufactured in Burslem, Stoke,
FBOM JOHN o'oROAT'b TO LAKD 8 END. 61
and the long line of towns and Tillages connected
with them. The Potteries stand upon another coal-
field, great fires being required to bake the potter's
PROM JOHN O'GROAT'S TO LAND'S END.
If it were not for this smoke-cloud, we might get a
glimpse of the flat Cheshire plain, where we should
see green pastures everywhere, with many cows at
grass, from whose milk the famous Cheshire cheese
is made. Under part of Cheshire lies, not coal, as
in the adjoining county, but a wide field of salt,
which miners are employed to dig from the earth.
What is that green dip we notice in the land, which,
as it bends to the north, becomes a wide valley, with
gleamiug water at the bottom ? That is the valley
of the Trent, the great river of middle England, on
its way to the mouth of the Humber. We may
distinguish the towers of Nottingham Castle, which
stands upon the Trent; and a little to the north-
east, away from the river, we can discern the more
distant towers belonging to the beautiful cathedral
of Lincoln, which stands upon a hill ; from this hill
we might overlook a great deal of the flat, farming
county of Lincolnshire. Many chimneys, you will
notice, rise to the north of us, in the direction of
the county of Nottingham, as well as in Leicester-
shire itself. These are the chimneys of the ** mills "
62 FBOM JOHN OBOAT 8 TO LAND's KND.
where stockings and lace are made. Nottingham
and Leicester are both busy manufactaring towns.
As we turn to the east and the south we may bid
farewell to mill-chimneys and smoke. The manu-
factures and mines belong to the north and west of
England ; the eastern and south-eastern counties are
all laid out in wide farms. Yellow fields and green
fields with many cattle meet the eye eyerywhere;
there are fields of wheat and barley, of clover and
grass, of potatoes, turnips, and beans — food for men
and food for cattle ; for to produce food seems to be
the business of these pleasant farming counties.
We cannot see far to the south-west, because hills
break the view. Let us go across country to the
Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire, and from these
we shall be able to see the beautiful valley of the
Severn, the great river of the west. This is a very
pretty part of England; the four counties in the
Severn valley are hilly and woody, and are full of
apple and pear orchards ; cider and perry are made
from the fruit. Famous cheese is made in G-louces-
tershire, which is what is called a dairy county,
that is, many cows are kept there for the sake of
their milk, which is made into butter or cheese.
A good many mill-chimneys may be counted in
Gloucestershire, and in the two counties to the
south of it, for the well-known west-country hraad-
doth is made in Stroud, Frome, Bradford, and a
few other places.
The Thames, the most famous of all British rivers,
rises in these Cotswold Hills. We cannot choose a
better spot from which to see its valley than the
^owers of Windsor Castle, the Queen's palace. The
FBOM JOHN o'oBOAT'b TO LAND'b END, 63
Castle is built upon a '' princely brow '' overhanging
the river, and from the Keep the greater part of thir-
teen counties may be seen. These are, for the most
part, pleasant counties, green and woody, with fertile
fields, farms, and villages ; and they contain many of
the beautiful dwellings of the nobility.
As we have already spoken of the strangely shaped
peninsula which ends in the Land's End, we have
only now to see the "chalk" counties. All the
south-eastern shires, from Wilts to Kent, are com-
posed, for the most part, of chalk; dig below the
surface soil anywhere, and white chalk is the rock
you come to. This chalk country begins with
Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, and from there three
or four long ranges of low rounded chalk hills
branch out. The most important of these are the
North and South Downs, in Surrey and Sussex,
upon which many sheep are fed, for the hills are
covered with rich green turf, delightful to walk
upon and very good to eat, at least, so the sheep
would consider. These south-eastern counties are
among the farming shires. Kent is famous for its
great cherry-orchards and its hop -grounds.
FROM JOHN O'GROAT'S TO LAND'S END.
We who live in this pleasant and peaceable land do
not think it strange that farmers should live in lonely
country houses where there are neither policemen
61 FBOU JOHN O'GROAT's TO UND's BND.
Dor soldiers to take care of them, and yet should
drive their cattle afield, and raise their crops, as if
they had no fear. But it is a thing to be proud of
aud thankful for that England is governed by wise
laws well carried out; and this is why Euglish
people, whether in town or country, have not often
cause to be uneasy about the safety of their property.
These laws by which England is governed have
been hundreds of years in making, yet new ones
are added from year to year, as they are wanted.
The gentlemen who help to make the laws are
called Members of Parliament Every large town
and every county chooses two or more "Members"
to oend up to the great Parliament Houses at West-
Hocasg or pahluheht.
minster. These meet to talk matters over in one
hall or " House," called the House of Commons.
All the great noblemen in the land meet in another
hall in the same building, which is called the House
of Lords. Before any new law comee into force the
greater part of the " Commons" must agree to it,
FBOK JOHN o'oBOAt's T6 LAND's END. 65
and the greater part of the ** Lords," and, last of
all, the Queen must give her consent. Of course
this leads to a great deal of talking, and the word
•* Parliament " means ** talking"; the Houses of
Parliament are the Talking Houses. Thus Great
Britain is governed not by the Sovereign alone, but
by the Sovereign, the Lords, and the Commons, who
are all concerned in the making of laws.
We must now say something of the English
people, to whom this pleasant, fertile land belongs.
You know that many English persons have fair
skins, blue eyes, and light hair; but perhaps youx
do not know that this sort of complexion comes
from a brave seafaring people who conquered
Britain some twelve or thirteen centuries ago.
These were the Saxons, who came from a land on
the other side of the North Sea, a spot near the
river Elbe. They conquered the country from
the Britons, a people who were not strong enough
to keep it for themselves, and were therefore driven
into out-of-the-way comers, among the hills of Corn-
wall and Wales, for instance, while the Saxons took
the best of the land for themselves. It was named
England after the Angles, a tribe allied to the Saxons,
and who took part in the conquest. From these
northern warriors we get some of our best national
qualities ; they were a brave, truth-telling people,
who liked to work on steadily at whatever they
took in hand until it was finished.
All English persons have not fair complexions,
because we are a mioRed race. Soon the Danes,
another race of northern warriors, very like the
66 FBOM JOHN OQBOATS TO LANDS KM]>.
Saxons, came for a share of the prize their neigh-*
hours had won. They also succeeded in conquer-
ing England, and settled along the eastern shores.
Later still, William the Conqueror came with his
Norman followers and won this country for himself
in the battle of Hastings, 1066, after which many
Normans came to live in England. Thus you see it
is very difficult to tell whether an Englishman is
descended from Normans, Saxons, Danes, or Britons,
or even from Bomans. The Saxons were never
driven out by new invaders, and because they were
the most numerous, and proved in the end the
strongest people, we think of the EngHsh nation as
descended chiefly from them..
Though each of the invading nations added new
words to the stock, it is to the Saxons chiefly we
owe the noble and beautiful English language.
English is spoken all over the country, but seyeral
counties have curious dialects, which strangers find
it difficult to understand. These differences of
speech are, however, dying away, because people
travel about a good deal from county to county
now, and thus they forget the dialect of the
district where they were bom. People go about
more now than formerly because it is easy to get
from one end o£ England to the other; the whole
country is covered with a network of railways,
and but few English villages are more than five
miles distant from a railway station. Nine main,
or principal, lines reach out like long arms from
London to the most distant parts of the country;
and besides these there are endless branch lines,
FBOU JOHN o'GBOAT's TO LAND'b WXIK 67
which coimect scattered towns aad yillages with
the main lines.
It is possible ta reach the North of England^ New*
castle, or Carlisle, by three of these main lines,— the
London and NovihrWestem^ the Gh'eai Northern, and
the Midlands each line taking, as its name shows^ a
somewhat different course.
To reach the towns of Devon and Cornwall, we
journey by the Oreat Western; while the OrecU
Eastern would take us to the towns of the eastern
counties, Norwich, Yarmouth, Cambridge, &c. The
destinationa of the London, Ohafkami, and Dover, and
the London, Brighton, wnd South Goast lines are
evident from their names; as are also the direc-
tions of the SoiiihrWestem and the SotUh-Easbm
We are apt to think most of the convenience of
railwap for passengers, but perhaps their most im*
portant use i& to bear goods to the ports from which
they are shipped for foreign lands, or to the places
at home where they may be wanted ; and no doubt
you have often noticed long " good& trains " laden,
with cattle or coal, iron, wool, or whatever the nmgh?^
All goods do not, however, reach their destiha^-
tion by rail ; it is cheaper to carry certaia heavy
articles by water, in baizes drawn, by horses,, and for
this purpose the numerous navigable rivers which
England possesses are made use^ of.. Bivers are
navigable when their w<aters^ ace deep and their beds
are even, so that boats may glide smoothly along.
Before railways were invented,, it was found that
68 VBOK JOHN o'oBOAT's TO LAND's END.
snch waterways were wanted in many places where
there were no natural rivers deep enough to carry
barges. Therefore many canals were made, that is^
artificial channels connected with the rivers and filled
with water from them ; and by means of these, boats
pass from one river to another, and thus carry goods
from distant towns to ports at the mouths of the
Then, a good road leads to almost every spot in the
country to which people are likely to journey for
business or pleasure ; so that the means of communi-
cation by road, railway, river, and canal, are excellent
throughout England, no part of which is shut off
from intercourse with the rest because there is no
means of getting to it.
More Ihan haK the people of England live in
towns because in them great manufactures are
carried on which afford work and wages to large
numbers of people collected together in one spot.
Thus, the clothing towns and the cotton and iron-
working towns have a large population ; so have the
sisaports, because in them also many persons can find
employment ; while London, which is both a great
seaport and the seat of many manufactures, has a
population of three and a half millions, as many in-
habitants as are contained in the whole of Scotland !
England and Wales together have a population of
about 25 millions, and if these were evenly divided
all over the country, there would be 340 persons to
every square mile of land. But the farming districts
do not contain nearly so many people in proportion
to their size as do those parts of the country where
there are many towns ; while waste land and regions
of moor and mountain have yery few inhabitants
The " Emerald Isle " is the most westerly of the
British Isles. It owes this pretty and fetnciful title
to the fact that the grass is always green, or, at any
rate> it has seldom the parched and brown look of
English grass in a dry season. Ireland has always
plenty of rain, because the west winds which blow off
the Atlantic are full of watery vapour, which comes
down in frequent showers; and these cause the
verdant appearance for which the country is famous.
. For the same reason, more rain falls in the western
counties of England than in the eastern; and
because moist air never becomes quite so cold as
dry air, Ireland, and the western counties of
England, are, on the whole, warmer than the eastern
As a moist soil is good for grass, there cure many
pasture fields all over the country, and great numbers
of cattle are fed ; much of the butter made from
their milk is exported to England. There is not
much com grown, partly because the soil is less
suitable for corn tlum for grass ; and partly because
land must be carefully manured, and much labour and
money must be spent upon it in various ways to
make it produce good com crops, — an outlay which
the Irish peasant farmers are too poor to afford
Potatoes, however, are largely grown, and form the
chief food of the people ; failures in this crop have
often been followed by frightful famines.
So much has Ireland suffered in this and other ways
of late, that more than a third of her people have
emigrated — dearly as they love their native land — to
find work and wages in America or in Australia.
Oats are more largely grown than any other kind
of com, and, in the northern counties especially, oat-
meal porridge is a good deal eaten.
You would think that because things often go
badly with them, the Irish must be a sad and gloomy
people ; but, on the contrary, they are light-hearted
and full of fun and jokes, excepting when trouble is
pressing upon them. They are not a Saxon people
like the English, but are OeUs^ allied to the ancient
Britons and to the Welsh of the present day. Most
of the people speak English, however, for Ireland
has belonged to England for about seven centuries.
The people of Ulster, the northern province of
Ireland, are partly of Saxon descent. King James I.
of England settled a colony of Lowland Scots here,
from whom many of the present inhabitants are de-
scended; and they have made this north-eastern
comer the richest and most prosperous part of the
island. They brought with them, from their Scotch
homes, the art of making linen, and this is still the
most important manufacture of Ireland. There are
large fields of the flax plant in these northern coun-
ties ; it is grown for the fibres of the stalk, of which,
after much steeping in water and various other
processes^ linen is made. The peasants may be seen
at work in many of the cottages weaving linen in
small hand-looms ; they grow the flax themselves and
prepare the fibres, and their wives and daughters spin
the yam. But most of the linen is made in the towns,
from which rise tall mill-chimneys like those in the
English cotton towns. Belfast and Drogheda are the
most important linen-making places. Belfast is a
large and busy seaport with a good h^rbouri where
cotton as well as linen is manufactured.
The cliffs on the coast of Antrim — the county in
which Belfast is situated — are very remarkable.
They are made of a rock called basalt^ which is dark
and hardy and heavy as iron ; and these hard rocks
have been worn by the waves into columns that look
as if they had been carved by human hands. The
cliffs of Fair Head are 600 feet high ; but the great
wonder of this coast is the Giant's Causeway. This
curious pier stretches for a thousand feet into the sea,
and is made of many five- or six-sided columns, packed
close together, fitting in with one another perfectly,
and more even and regular than man could make
Lough Neagh, in Antrim, is the largest lake in
Ireland, and, indeed, in the British Isles ; it has the
curious property of petrifying^ or gradually coating
over with stony substancey whatever is thrown
Ireland has a good many lakes, which are called
loughs here, while in Scotland they are termed loehs.
There are three large loughs, Allen, Bee, and Dearg^
in the course of the Shannon, which is the largest of
the Irish rivers. The seaport town of Limerick
stands at its mouth.
The beautiful lake country of Ireland, which is
a little like our English lake district in Cumberland
and Westmorland, is in county Kerry, at the south*
west comer of the island. Here are the three
famous lakes of Killamey, on whose wooded banks
the arbutus grows freely ; the lakes are studded with
fairy isles, and are hemmed in by mountains, in some
places rugged and awful, in others clothed with trees
and grass. The other two counties of Ireland which
are remarkable for their scenery are Galway, in the
west, which is wild and much broken into by the sea ;
and Wicklow on the east, which has hills and lovely
river valleys. The Vale of Avoca is &mous in song.
You wiU notice that these three picturesque coun*
ties — that is, counties where hill, valley, and water
make pictures pleasant to the eye — are all upon the
Carry your eye round the map of Ireland, and you
will see there are various other mountain ranges near
the coast ; you can count six or more distinct chains,
while, running inland, there are only the Slieve Bloom
Mountains, which reach as far as King's County.
None of these mountain ranges are high, and they are
usually covered to the top with grass, upon which
sheep and cattle feed. There are a great many goats
also in the hilly districts, which are much valued for
The middle of Ireland is a wide plain ; it is rather
high and in some places hilly, and yet it consists for
the most part of soaking hogs which cover more than
a third part of the country. They form a dreary
waste which, in many places, it is not safe to cross,
because the ground is filled with stagnant water.
After much rain tha bogs sometimes burst and flood
the surrounding land. The largest of these wastes
is the Bog of Allen.
Although men cannot build upon the bogs, or till
them, they have a certain use. There is not much
coal in Ireland, and what there is, is not of a good
kind ; and there are very few trees indeed, so the
people cannot use wood for fuel. They cut sods from
the bogs and pile them in stacks to dry ; and these
peat sods, which bum with a peculiar smell, are what
the peasants make their fires of. The bogs seem, to
consist a good deal of decayed forests, which once
covered a great part of the country.
As most of the inhabitants are engaged in tilling
the ground, Ireland has but few large towns. Dublin,
the capital, is a handsome city which stands on the
eeu3t coast where the Liffey falls into Dublin Bay.
It has a beautiful park. PopUn — a stufi^ made of a
mixture of silk and wool — is manufactured here.
Cork, which has a very fine harbour, is the next
town of importance ; it is a busy seaport, and exports
pigs and bullocks, pork and butter, besides a great
deal of tinned meat, which is prepared in the town.
QUESTIONS ON THE MAP OF THE BRITISH ISLES. 75
QuestioxiB on tlie Map of tlie Britisli Isles.
1. What waters divide the island of Great Britain from the
2. What oonntries have coasts on the further side of the North
3. The island of Great Britain contains three countries ; name
them. Which is the most northerly? The most westerly? The
most important ?
4. A range of hills partly divides England from Scotland ;
name it. '
5. What large island lies to the west of Great Britain ? What
waters separate these two islands ?
6. How is England separated from France ? Name an island, two
or three headlands, and two or three bays on the English shore of
7. What strait connects the English Channel with the North
Sea? Sailing northward from this strait, what is the first headland
8. What is the first large opening on the eastern coast ? Name
the great town upon this river.
9. Name any seaboard towns on the coast of the round eastern
10. What rivers flow into the Wash ?
11. What name is given to the country round the Wash?
12. What is the next large opening to the north ? What rivers
form the Humber ? What point is at its mouth ?
. 13. Name another bold headland further north.
14. Name any English rivers which flow into the North Sea,
north of the Humber.
15. What town stands where England and Scotland meet?
16. Sailing north, what large estuary do we shortly pass ? What
town stands on the Forth ?
17. Name two other rivers with seaport towns at their mouths on
the east coast of Scotland.
18. Bounding the shoulder and sailing westward, what firth do
19. Bounding the north-eastern point of Scotland and sailing
through the Pentland Firth, what islands have we on our right ?
20. What other group lies furiher to the north-east ?
76 QUBSTIONB ON THB MAP OV THB BBITI8H IBLE&
21. What waters are we in as we ooast the north of Scotland?
As we sail down the west ?
22. Sailing down the channel called the ^ Minch," what islands
have we on our right ?
23. How would you describe the western coast of Scotland ?
24. Name the five largest islands which lie close to the coast
Name the largest openings.
25. Between what two openings might we pass through Scotland
in a boat, by means of lakes and a canal ?
26. What large city stands upon the Clyde?
27. Name half-a-dozen Scotch headlands, stating which coast they
28. What firth penetrates some way between England and
Scotland on the west ?
29. What English headland stretches furthest into the Irish
80. What island in the Irish Sea is almost equally distant firom
England, Scotland, and Ireland ?
81. Name any English rivers which flow into the Irish Sea. A
large seaport on the Mersey.
82. Having passed the Dee, what country do we coast as we sail
83. Through what strait may we pass so as to have a large island
on our right? Name the island.
84. What name is given to the waters between Wales and
35. Name the two Welsh headlands which stretch furthest into
the sea. What bay is between these ?
86. What channel enters the land between South Wales and a
part of England? What river is this channel the estuary of?
Name a seaport at its mouth.
87. Sailing out of the Bristol Channel and southward, what is
the last point of English ground we come to ?
88. Name any mountains in Scotland north of the Caledonian
Canal. What would you say of the whole country ?
39. What range of mountains crosses the country south of this
40. What other part of the country is mountainous? Name any
of the hill ranges.
41. Name half-a-dozen towns in the interior of Scotland. Say
where they are.
42. What parts of England are mountainous ? What parts are
43. Name the moontain-chain which rons from the borders of
Scotland nearly to the middle of England.
44. What rivers rise in these mountains and flow east or west ?
45. Name any towns in this northern part of the country, and
say on which side of the mountains they lie.
46. What name is given to the mountain-chains of Wales.
47. Name any towns in the flat middle part of England. In the
flat eastern counties.
48. Name any hill ranges in the south.
49. Name half-a-dozen towns in the southern counties.
50. Name five or six capes round the coast of Ireland, and three
or four bays.
51. Where are the mountains of Ireland, near the coast, or in the
interior ? Name any mountain-chains.
52. Name the six largest rivers of Ireland. Which of these
form lakes in their courses ? Name any of these lakes.
58. What Bog occupies much of the centre of Ireland ?
54. Name half-a-dozen seaport towns on the coast.
In *' the pleasant land of France " do most English
people enjoy, for the first time, the wonder and
delight of being in a foreign country. A sail of an
hour or so brings you to Calais, where you find your
English tongue of little service. Or you may take
the boat for Boulogne, pleasantest of watering-places,
where the ladies and gentlemen bathe together in
gay costumes, and where the charming French-
women go about in their neat dresses and becoming
white caps, which are much prettier than hats or
Or, arriving at the quaint seaport town of Dieppe,
you may watch the old women in their high Nor-
mandy caps as they stroll, knitting in hand, along
the quay. You are inclined to think the solemn-
looking caps they wear must have something to do
with the cleverness of the children ; how else should
they speak French so well,, when we find it so trouble-
some to learn ?
Did you ever see such piles of cherries as are for
sale along the quay ? — to be bought at the rate of a
penny a pound. It ia plain that Normandy is, like
the county of Kent, a cherry-growing district.
The name " Normandy " makes us feel at home in
this strange land. We remember that our Norman
kings came from here, and that, for nearly four cen-
turies, Normandy and the whole western half of
France belonged, more or less, to the English kings,
who called themselves kings of France also. This
was an unhappy state of things, which led to con-
stant wars between the two countries. Indeed, the
last century of English possession was one long
" Hundred Years' War,"^ in which two of the English
kings, Edward III. and Henry V., gained some
fSEtmous victories. We are still proud to remember
the battles of Cressy, Poictiers, and Agincourt.
Let us go on to the ancient city of Bouen, where
a thing was done which English people are ashamed
and sad to remember. In the market-place of Bouen
Joan of Arc, the brave and gentle peasant girl whose
courage and faith in God had saved her country,
was burnt as a witch by the English. *' Jesus!"
she cried, when the cruel flames reached her tender
flesh; and an English soldier who heard her said
" We are lost — ^we have burned a saint 1 "
The English cause was lost. The war went on a
few years longer, and everywhere the English were
defeated, until nothing was left of their vast posses-
sions but the town of Calais.
Bouen, which has a cathedral and a vei^y beautiful
church of St Ouen, is sometimes called '^ the Man-
chester of France/' because cotton goods are made
here. But a single look at the quiet, bright old city
— many of whose shops and warehouses can hardly
be distinguished from dwelh'ng-houses — would show
that cotton-spinning in France is by no means the
great industry it is with ourselves. France is not so
great a manufacturing country as England : half the
people in England live in towns, where they work in
mills or foundries in some manufacturing eentre^
where many people are gathered together. In
France, only a third of the inhabitants live in
towns ; the greater number are employed in tilling
the land. The north of France, north of a line
drawn across the country from the mouth of the
Loire^ is the busiest part, and here are many towns
where iron goods, linen, cotton, and woollen stuffs
are mode. Lille is a busy manufacturing town.
Cambric is made at Cambrai, and Valenciennes is
famous for its beautiful lace.
This northern part of France is like the south of
Eugland, only it is a little warmer in the summer
and colder in the winter. Corn and apples, pears,
and cherries, grow here as in the southern counties
of England ; the people drink cider^ they keep cows
and make batter, and they rear an immense quan-
tity of poultry. The French do not eat nearly so
much meat as we eat; they live a good deal on
wheaten bread, made into curiously shaped loaves,
which are sometimes round like a hoop, and some-
times are more than a yard long. They also use
many chickens, and a great quantity of eggs. Not
that Madame would serve a simple boiled egg as we
do in England; in a few minutes she tosses up a
delicious omdeUe, such as only a Frenchwoman can
make — that -is, a sort of pancake turnover, with
sweets or savoury herbs inside. But the potoffCy or
soup, is the everyday food of the people, of which
they never seem to tire ; a little pan of it is always
simmering on the little charcoal stove, ready for
breakfast, dinner, or supper. These soups cost little,
as they are made for the most part of vegetables,
and the French are very clever in contriving many
It is well Madame should know how to cook an
excellent dinner out of little, for the French peasants
are poor. The land is cut up into many small farms,
for the father's property is divided at his death
equally among his children; and this is why we
constantly see, in France, patches of wheat no bigger
than an English cabbage garden. Very hard work it
is to gain a living out of these small farms ; father,
mother, and children all have to do field work, and
it tells upon the women, who grow brown and
wizened and old before their time.
But we must quit the country folk, and hasten to
Paris, the cityof France, and the brightest and
gayest of towns, where the people seem to live out
of doors, sipping coffee or wine at little round tables
on the broad side-walks of the boulevards, as many
of the wide streets are called. Lively and pleasure-
loving as the people are, Paris is not an idle town.
Jewelry and watches, delicious sweetmeats and per-
fumes, furniture, gloves, elegant robes and bonnets,
which go all over the world to set the fashions —
these, and a hundred other costly and beautiful
things, are made by the deft fingers of the Parisians.
We have no room to describe the palaces, parks, and
picture galleries of the splendid city ; nor the glorious
cathedral and other ancient buildings, which stand
upon an island in the Seine ; nor the bridges which
span the beautiful river. We must leave Paris, and
journey further south.
A second line, drawn from the mouth of the
G-aronne right across the country, encloses Middle
France. This is a pleasant, sunshiny land, where
the vine is grown everywhere, either trained along
the ground or upon poles, as hops are in England.
The grape-gathering is a pretty sight, and the season
is one of much mirth and festivity. Wine is made
from the grapes, much of which is exported, but a
good deal is drunk by the people, who use wine as
commonly as the English use beer. French people,
however, seldom drink too much.
Delightful as the climate is here, the people have
occasion to dread the tremendous hail-storms, which
every year destroy many of the tender grapes.
These storms, and the floods which overflow the
valley of the Loire when the snows of the Cevennes
melt, often caase much distress among the io-
Southern France is a still warmer, sonnier region.
Here the people make little butter, and do all their
cooking with oil ; the oil they use is pressed out of
the fruit of the olive-tree, which grows only in warm,
sunny lands. The mulbeny-tree, too, is largely
grown in this part of France for its leaves which are
the favourite food of the dainty silkworm. To take
care of these worms, and reel the silk off their
cocoons, is the principal work of the people in this
part of France. In the towns of the beautiful warm
Ehone valley the people are employed in manu-
BPADT AND POBTUOAL. 83
facturing the silk ; Lyons is the most important of
these silk-making towns. The silks of France are
famous all over the world for their good quality and
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
If the south of France is warm and sunny^ how
delightful must these two lands of Southern Europe
be ! Two countries they are, but the map shows
that the same rivers flow, and the same mountain
chains run, through them both ; we see, too, that
together they form a great peninsula, separated from
Africa only by narrow straits which open into the
Just within the Straits is a tongue of land, upon,
which is a great rock mountain with so steep a fall
to the sea that it cannot be climbed. This rock is
made into a fortress, bristling all over witk guns, to
hold which, holes and passages have been cut in the
solid stone ; and this great fortress is the key to the
British ships, however, may enter the Straits
freely, because the fortress of Gibraltar, with its
thousand huge guns, does not belong to Spain at all,
but to England ; and many English soldiers man the
guns and keep the forts. In times of peace, the
soldiers are glad to amuse themselves sometimes by
going after the little monkeys which dwell in the
high cliffs; this is the only part of Europe where
81 SFAHl AKD-FOKTUQAL.
these amaeiog creatuies are to be found ia a wild
Ab we may venture through the Straits, let us take
ship, and collect a cai^ of the good things of Spain.
We mnet stop on our vay at (^rto, aod take in a
stock of port wine ; for the Douro, upon which this
large town stands, flows through a famous wine-
growing district. The vineyards stretch upon either
side of the river for many miles ; and thousands of
women and children flock thither for the vintage, to
gather the ripe grapes ; and thousands of men are
employed to tread them, in order to press out the
We cannot pass hy Lisbon either without stopping
to see the capital of Portugal; and, as we enter the
wide mouth of the Tagns, a swarm o[ little boats
gathers round oar vessel, laden high with oranges,
flgs, grapes, pomegranates, and other delicious aoA
heautiliil Ihuts, whioh they are eager to sell. The
SPAIN AND POBTUOAL. 85
bright building8 of the town, high above upon hills,
look very pretty from the harbour; but when we
enter, the narrow and dirty streets are disappointing.
Lisbon was nearly destroyed by a terrible earth-
quake which took place more than a century ago :
public buildings and many streets of houses were
thrown down, and nearly sixty thousand persons
Bound by Spain now ; we sail some way up the
Ouadalquivir to the town of Seville, where we lay in
great Seville oranges for marmalade. Through the
Straits we go, and, ho ! for *' Malaga raisins, best of
raisins under the sun."
We have forgotten, however, to take in our stock
of sherry wine at Cadiz, whither it is sent from Xeres,
where an immense quantity is made.
We cannot stop everywhere; we must pass by
large seaports, and towns famous in story, in which
there are strange and beautiful buildings. But we
keep as near shore as we can, and are delighted to
see banks of brilliant flowers, and groves of glowing
fruits; and stay I surely those are palm-trees, the
real palms of the East, which we have long known in
pictures. The bright-gleaming oranges and lemons
are varied by darker groves of mulberry-trees: for
the useful little silkworm seems to enjoy the pleasant
air of these sea-side plains, and more silk is produced
here than in any other country of Europe excepting
Italy. Most of it, however, is sent to France to be
How pretty the villages look— the houses nestling
among fruit-trees and flowers, and coloured^ some-
86 ffPAIS AND POBTUOAL.
times piuk, sbmetimes blue^ for bright colours look
well here, the more so as many of the trees bear dull,
dark-green leaves. The peasants like bright clothes
also, and the crimson sashes or waistbands of the
men and the bright petticoats of the women flash
gaily in the open-air dance with which they love to
end the day.
But we must get on to the busy seaport town
of Barcelona, and complete our cargo with nuts,
'^ Barcelona nuts," which have been gathered in the
great forests that cover so large a part of Northern
Spain. Sweet chestnuts, too, abound in these forests^
and the people cook and eat them as freely as we do
We have finished our voyage now, and say to our-
selves. What a delightful land is Spain! How full
of delicious things and pleasant spots and happy
people! But Spain is rather like a house which
hangs up handsome blinds and curtains, and has
dreary and empty rooms within. All the middle of
the country, away from the pleasant plains of the
coast, is a high dreary tableland, with hardly a tree
to aflbrd shelter from the bitter cold of winter, op
the burning heat of the summer sun. It is crossed,
as the map shows, from east to west, by ranges of
mountains, which are dreary as itself; rivers flow
between the mountain ranges, but they dry up or
get very shallow in the summer when they are most
wanted. Madrid, the capital of Spaiu, stands upon
this plain, and is the highest city in Europe : it is a
dull enough town, except when the Spanish women
take their evening walks : no other la<Ues know how
to move with such stately grace, and very pretty
thejr look in the black lace mantillas they commonly
wear instead of bonnets.
Like a picture, like a poem, like a dream of pleasant
things, is the very name of sunny, beautiful Italy ;
rather, this name, as with magical power, calls up
a succession of shifting pictures, pleasing visions.
We close our eyes, and, behold, —
^ A gloriona city in the sea ;
The sea is in the broad, the narrow streets.
Ebbing and flowing; and the salt sea-weed
Clings to the marble of her palaces I
Ko tread of men, no footsteps to and fro.
Tread to her gates : the path lies o'er the sea."
Here is, indeed, a strange silent city, where the
sound of wheels is never heard, for the streets are
water, and the carriages are long black boats with a
rower at either end, and what looks like the body of
a carriage in the middle. These are gondolas; and
are to be seen perpetually skimmin&r the broad, the
narrow way, beir4 pas^ngers or foods from street
' The '' Lady of Lombardy," the " City of the Sea,"
owes her beauty to the mi^ortunes of her founders.
Many centuries ago, the clever and industrious
citizens of Padua, and other towns on the Adriatic,
were driven from their homes by At'tila, king of the
There are at the head of the Adriatic about a
hundred little islands, formed of mud and sand swept
down by the rivers which flow through Northern
Italy. These islands are surrounded by shallow
water, and between them are many narrow channels.
The Yene'ti, driven from the mainland, settled them-
selves upon these islands, and there founded a city
in the midst of the waters. It was slow work. For
years, the settlers could barely keep the woK from
the door. But they built ships and traded ; by-and-
by, they gathered riches, raised splendid palaces of
marble on one little island after another, and built
the grand square of St. Mark with the remarkable
bell-tower. Of these poor little isles, 'the reftige
of outcasts, they made a great merchant city —
beautiful Venice !
Look again ; there is a yellow rapid river, and,
beyond, a cluster of seven hills ; upon the hills rise
the buildings of a great city, and among these are
gardens and vineyards and olive-yards. How many
of the buildings seem to be churches I Churches
they are ; for the city is Borne, which has as many
churches, all but one, as there are days in the year;
and, amongst them, St. Peter's, the largest church in
the world. The streets swarm with priests who serve
these churches; and there are, at certain seasons,
a great many visitors in the city, who go to Borne,
partly to see the grand shows of the Bomish Church
and the Pope who is the head of it. But still more
do educated people care to see the remains of ancient
Borne — the ruins of buildings larger and grander
than any the world has since produced.
How the beggars swarm and torment the visitors,
and what crowds of lazy, dirty, pretty boys and girls
lie about the steps of the buildings, nibbling long
sticks of maccaroni ! How dirty and narrow many
of the streets are I It is pleasant to think that, now,
all Italy has a king of its own, who will try to help
the people into better ways. The dirty, ragged
children will, we hope, be gathered into schools ; and
the streets will be made clean. Bome, which has for
centuries belonged to the Pope, is now the capital of
the new kingdom of Italy.
We avoid the Campagna, a deserted plain to the
north of Bome, where there is hardly a htit, or
even a tree to be seen. The grass looks green and
rich, and there are many cattle and sheep feeding
upon it; the sickly-looking shepherds, wrapped in
blankets, walk about upon high stilts. A way
of amusing themselves? Not at all; a foul air,
maJaria, rises from the swampy flats, and those who
breathe this air fall ill of fever or ague. The shep-
herds use stilts to raise them, as the air is worst near
the ground. This low unhealthy plain stretches,
under different names, nearly all along the western
We keep inland, within sight of the mountains,
the long chain of the Apennines, which goes all
through Italy, and is covered in many parts with
forests of chestnuts. On the lower slopes, there are
mulberry groves for the silkworms, for more silk is
produced in Italy than in any other country of
Europe; there are endless vineyards; and there
are whole groves of oranges I
''See Naples and then die/' says the Neapolitan
proverb, as if nothing were left worth seeing after
this fiftir city. And what can be lovelier to look
npon than the white buildings of the city rising on a
hill'-side among orchards, vineyards, and groves of
oranges, between the blue sky of Italy and the bine
Bea by which Naples stands! Within, there is a
wonderful hubbub; the streets are crowded, for
workers in every trade, shoemakers, carpenters,
smiths, weavers, do their work out of doors. That
is, if any work can go on while everybody is talking
at the top of bis voice, and gesticulating with hands
and arms to make his meaning the plainer; the
Wonder is, who listens ? The streets of Naples are
paved with blocks of a curious substance, namely,
lava. Lava is the melted matter — ^which becomes
hard as it cools — that is thrown out of the hole or
eraier of a volcano. Only a few miles from Naples
is Vesuvius, a famous volcano whose fires are often
burning ; then, streams of lava flow down its sides,
and clouds of thick vapour rise from its monster
chimney. Sometimes lava and fiery cinders come in
such quantities as to spread over the plain at the
foot of the mountain; in the old Boman days, the
two cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, which stood
at the base of Vesuvius, were buried, the one under
ashes, the other imder lava, before the people had
time to escape. Italy has another volcano. Mount
Etna, which is in the island of Sicily.
We must leave Italy without seeing the beautiful
and fertile wheat-growing plain in the north, the
Plain of Lombardy, which is watered by the rapid
Is there any treat to equal a first visit to Switzer-
land? The very name calls np, not a country
where people live in towns and work at trades for
their living, but green, sunny valleys, blue lakes,
snow-capped mountains, fields of ice, and pleasant,
merry travelhng over diflScult ways.
The " playground of Europe " the little country is
called ; and no people swarm there to play through
a happy holiday more than the English.
Let us enter where the Ehine leaves Switzerland,
at the pleasant town of Basle. We may chance to
see a stork's nest or two on the roofs of the houses
on our way to the Three Kings, which hotel we
choose because its windows overhang the Bhine.
How the river rushes along! — ^if such a stately,
rapid sweep may be called " rushing." On, on, it
goes, with a continual strong flow, while we gaze
with awe and delight ; and in thought we follow it
back to the high Alps, where it gathers, not its
waters only, but its force. We all know how fast
and how easily we run downhill.
We must not linger at Basle; let us go on to
Geneva, the bright capital of Switzerland, where
** Geneva's blue waters " spread before us, and th^
mighty Blanc, the highest of the Alps, nearly five
times as high as any mountain in England, towers in
the distance. It is partly a French moantain now,
thongh we always think of it as part of Switzerland.
Or, hetter still, let us away to the heart of the
Alps — ^to Lucerne, resting on the margin of its
beautiful lake, and girdled by chains of snowy
Alps. Upon one of the shadowy bays of the lake
stands the chapel of William Tell, the hero of
Switzerland, who is said to have made the Swiss a
From the shore of Laceme rises the big, swelling
Bigi. If we are not good mountain climbers, we
may ascend by the marvellous railway which goes
to the Tery summit of the mountain. Of coarse, we
most see the snn rise. At three o'clock in the
morning, perhaps, when we are comfortably asleep
— for there is an hotel at the top of the mountain —
we are startled by a ringing bletst from the long
Alpine horn with which the mountaineers call their
cattle home. Sleepy as we are, we tumble out of
bed ; we must see the sun rise, and he waits for
nobody. A motley crowd we are, wrapped in what-
eyer came uppermost, and we have time to look
at one another, for the sun has pot yet bestirred
himself; the world is waiting for him in a clear,
still light. At last the eastern sky grows rosy ; the
white maiden-mountains flush all over at the coming
of their lord with a pink blush like nothing so much
as that which pleasure kindles in the face of a child.
More glorious, more golden grows the sky ; the rim
rises slowly from behind the mountains ; by-and-by
the great round orb has fully risen, and is mounting
high in the heavens.
We are in no hurry to go in ; the Alps lie before
.us, the snowy Alps of the Bernese Oberland, chain
behind chain, peak beyond peak, white and gleaming
in the early light. These are the real mountains
we have imagined all our lives, whose heads reach
so high that they get into cold, strange air, where
water becomes ice and mist is converted into snow,
and the snow never wholly melts away.
We can pick out one and another shape we know.
There is the Jungfrau (the maiden), and there is
the great St. Gothard, which has just been pierced
in a wonderful way for a railway into Italy. How
lovely the valleys are, with villages nestling in them,
which might be playthings, so tiny they look — toy-
houses which you might carry in your pinafore. And
the lakes ! — fully a dozen of them you may count,
lying like shining mirrors in the valleys.
The Kigi itself is full of delight. There are the
handsome, friendly cows, each with its great bell
about its neck, and the goats, and the strange
Alpine flowers. The most beautiful of these is the
lovely little gentian, each flower growing by itself,
set on the green earth as star& are set in the sky,
and so blue, so very blue ; bluer than the sky, or
the eyes of a child, or than any blue thing you
But if we can climb well, we shall not be content
with the Kigi. We get a guide and an alpenstock,
that is, a long stick to steady our steps, and away
for the high Alps ; we must see the gilaciers. What
are glaciers ? They are great fields of ice, or rather,
of frozen snow, sometimes fifteen or sixteen miles
long and a mile or two across, of which there are
hundreds in the high valleys of the Alps. The high
valleys being filled, the great mass of ice slides very
slowly down towards the low valley at the foot of
the mountain. The glacier is, in fact, a slow-moving
river of ice, by which the snow, for which there is
no longer room on the mountain peaks or in the
high valleys, reaches the low plains, where it will be
converted into water. Very curious these glaciers
look ; sometimes they are like a smooth summer sea,
and sometimes the ice rises in great jagged heaps,
and looks like the ocean suddenly frozen in the
midst of a storm. Here and there are frightful
cracks in these ice*-rivers, chasms which reach down
hundredB of feet, so thick is the ice, and many an
unwary traveller has slipped into these dread
ravines and been heard of no more
The partial thaw of the snow m the spring cauees
anothet fearful danger. The snow on the moantain-
tops 18 loosened, and rolls down the sides of the
mountains in immense quantities and with great
force ; and these fearful avalanehe$ sometimes hary
whole villages in the valleys below deep beneath a
We must not linger among the Alps, nor must we
stop to say much about the brave and hardy Swiss.
Dearly they love their beautiful native land, but the
mountains and the lakes take up a great deal of
room, and leave them but little land to till ; there-
fore, though they are very industrious people, many
Swiss have to leave their homes and seek work in
foreign countries, but always with the hope of re-
turning when they have earned enough to keep
them in Switzerland. The watches made in Switzer-
land, Geneva watches, are well known everywhere.
Germany is a very large country, and, in many
ways, is one of the most important in Europe. It is
a country made up of many countries, or states,
which speak the same language and care about the
same things, and have lately agreed to place them-
selves under the King of Prussia, who is therefore
the Emperor of Germany. His eldest son. Prince
Frederick William, has married our Princess Eoyal,
the eldest daughter of our Queen.
This is not the only tie which binds us to the
Germans. Strange as their language sounds to us,
many of their words are just like our own ; they
love their homes as English people do, care for
books and study, perhaps, more than we do, are
tmthful and industrious, and are fair and ruddy, and
not very unlike English people in appearance.
Is there any reason why the English and the
Germans should be alike in so many ways ? There
is a sort of cousinship between the nations, for they
belong to the same race ; that is to say, both the
Germans and the English are descended from the
same brave people. The Saxons who conquered
Britain many centuries ago, came, in the first
place, in their war-rships from what is now a part of
Germany — the part lying near the river Elbe, upon
the North Sea.
But when you are in Germany, you say to
yourself, not. How like England it is! but. How
It is hard, at first, to say wherein the difference
lies. Very much the same sort of things grow in
the two countries; apples and pears, cherries and
plums, com, potatoes, and cabbage. The Germans
eat a great deal of cabbage, made into a salt, sour
pickle called sav£rkraid, which foreigners think very
nasty. Cotton, linen, and woollen stuffs, and iron
goods, are made as with us : but here we come to
one difference. Cotton is manufactured in one part
of England, iron in another, wool in a third. In
Germany it is not so ; each of the large towns has
all these and other manufactures carried on in it.
We see much that strikes us as new in the towns ;
they are seldom so large and crowded as our busy
English towns. The best streets are often very
wide, and in the middle are walks delightfully
shaded by fine trees with seats under them where
the women sit and knit: German women knit a
In the evening, it is pleasant to see the man
and his wife with their heads well out of an open
window. Do not imagine they have come to look
at something, and will pop in again in a minute ;
on the contrary, they may stay there for an hour.
Notice the red cushions for their elbows^ made to fit
the window-seat, and you will see they mean to be
comfortable. The houses are usually very high,
and each family has, not a nice little house for a
home, as in England, but a single floor in one of
these high houses.
Another thing that strikes us is, how much the
German people think of the education of their
children. They seem to think it just as important
that the children should go to school as that the
fiathers should go to work; and you see scores of
little lads and maidens, satchel on back, trotting off
. in the morning to be in good time for eight o'clock
Berlin is the capital of Prussia. Its principal
street, XJnt&ir den Linden (under the lime-trees), is
divided into five pleasant, shady avenues by chest-
nut, lime, and other trees. You are struck by the
number of soldiers here, on parade or walking about
Prussia is what is called a great military Power ;
that is, a country which has many soldiers. Indeed,
every man has to spend three years of his life as a
soldier, that he may be able to fight for his country
should he be wanted.
Beautiful china is made in Berlin^ as in some
other towns of the Empire ; the most beautiful and
costly is the kind called Dresden china.
A sail up the Bhine takes us through the
prettiest part of Germany. What a delightful sail
Let us take the Bhine steamer at Cologne : this is
a rather large town where Eau de Cologne is made,
and where there is one of the most beautiful cathe-
drals in the world ; it has been six hundred years in
building, and is only now finished. Having seen
this famous church we hasten on board, and up the
beautiful river. How broad and stately it is ! though
much less rapid here than when we last met it at
Basle. What strange-looking craft is this, laden
with felled trees, and with rough little houses as
well as women and children upon it ? It is a raft ;
the trees of the forest are roughly fastened together
thus, and set to float down stream in charge of men
who often take their families with them. The raft
wiU at last reach a port where it will be taken to
pieces, that the timber may be sold. But we must
use our eyes ; we are nearing Bonn and getting into
the most beautiful part of the river. Here and there
either bank rises into a high cliff, 'crowned with the
ruins of an ancient castle ; for many castles stand on
each side of the Bhine, and stories belong to them
all. Almost every bend of the river, every rock,
every island, has its story, so that a sail down the
Elune i^ like a delightful book of fairy tales. Up
the banks, even to the tops of the high MQs, the vine
is grown carefully ; not an inch of ground is wasted ;
and where the hill-side is too steep to support the
plants, a sort of shelf or terrace is made for them.
Words will not help us to imagine half the beauty
and delight of this Bhine river, — ^the vine-clad banks,
the craggy heights, the mountains, drawing close up
to the river, the cosy comers where the pretty towns
nestle, the dark steep cliffs, the jagged ruins of the
old keeps, which look down on us as if they would
say that they and the Bhine were there centuries
before we came into the world! No wonder the
Germans think much of their beautiful river, and
delight to sing its praises.
Holland is an extraordinary little country. It is
crowded with busy people, and has large seaports, and
ships which trade with many lands. Much of the
country consists of meadow-land, and many cows are
kept, from whose milk butter and cheese are made.
The Dutch have some manufactures; they make
the kind of linen we call " holland," manufacture a
certain kind of spirit, and build ships, both for their
own use and to sell to other countries. They grow
flowers largely, especially tulips and hyacinths, the
bulbs of which they export.
All these things, and many more, they do; but
none of these is the principal business of the Dutch
people. What that is, you would never guess. " I
strive, and keep my head above water," is the motto
of one division of the country, and this is exactly the
principal business of the Dutch — ^to keep their heads
above water; above real water that would drown
them and their cities and all belonging to them, and
make of Holland a South Seaj to match the North
Sea which washes it.
They have not always been successful ; look on the
map', and you will see a great opening called the
Zuyder Zee, which means south sea. There, and in
other parts of Holland, the sea has had the best of
the fight ; it poured in over towns and villages, and
destroyed many thousands of people, who were going
about their work without fear, forgetful of the terrible
foe upon their borders. But what can these Dutch
people do ? What is the use of fighting with such a
foe as the sea ? If -they were to withdraw from the
conflict for a day, all might be over with them ; so
sentinels keep watch day and night, as when armies
are fightiog ; and if they see the foe advance, an
alarm is sounded, upon which every man must rush
from his business or his bed to join in the battle.
This is how it is : Holland is the lowest part of
the great plain of Middle Europe. So low is it,
that the very rivers flow far above the level of the
land, and have to be kept in their beds by huge
banks of earth called dykes. If a dyke give way,
the river must rush out and flood the land. Nor is
this the only source of peril ; being so low, much of
Holland was at one time under water ; the people
had not room to live ; so they determined to get rid
of the water. They built channels, or canals, to hold
it, and they made pumps worked by windmills to
pump the low-lying water up into these canals. So
successful were these efforts that, where wide lakes
once lay, there are now fields of very green grass,
with dykes and windmills all round them, bordering
the canals which carry the water to the sea. But if
these dykes were to burst, the water would rush out,
and the green fields be once more flooded.
Worse danger than all the rest, Holland lies lower
than the sea. Along part of the coasts there are
sandhills which help to keep it out, but in other
parts the people have raised tremendous granite
.walls and dykes, huge and strong. For the west
wind drives the sea in upon Holland, and it is hard
for any works of men to stand against it. Think
of it ; think of standing inside such a sea-wall and
hearing the sea roar without, high above your head,
with nothing but the wall between you and death.
No wonder that looking after their dykes is the
principal business of the Dutch.
Have you heard of the little boy who lived in
Haarlem — a boy of eight — who saved his town by a
Grass and wild flowers grow upon the dykes, trees
are planted upon the tops of them, and they are
broad enough at the top to form pleasant roads.
This little boy was hastening home one evening,
just as the sun was setting. ** Just as he was bracing
himself for a run, he was startled by the sound of
trickling water. Whence did it come ? He looked
up and saw a small hole in the dyke through which
a tiny stream was flowing. Any child in Holland
will shudder at the thought of a leak in the dyke ;
the boy understood the danger at a glance. That
little hole, if the water were allowed to trickle
through, would soon be a large one, and a terrible
flood would be the result.
^' Quick as a flash he saw his duty. Throwing
away his flowers, the boy clambered up the height,
until he reached the hole. His chubby little finger
was thrust in almost before he knew it. The flowing
was stopped ! * Ah ! ' he thought, with a chuckle of
boyish delight, * the waters must stay back now !
Haarlem shall not be drowned while I am here.'
'* This was all very well at first, but the night was
falling fast, chill vapours filled the air. Our little hero
began to tremble with cold and fear. He shouted
loudly; he screamed * Come here! come herel* but no
one came. The cold grew more intense, a numbness,
beginning in the tired little finger, crept over his
hand and arm, and soon his whole body was filled
with pain. He shouted again, ' Will no one come ?
mother ! mother ! ' Alas ! his mother had already
locked the doors, and had quite resolved to scold
him in the morning, for spending the night with
his blind old friend; without her permission. He
tried to whistle, perhaps some straggling boy might
hear the signal ; but his teeth chattered so, it was
" The moon looked down upon that small lonely
form, sitting upon a stone half-way up the dyke. His
head was bent, but he was not asleep, for every now
and then one restless hand rubbed freely the out-
stretched arm that seemed fststened to the dyke, and
often the pale, tearful face tamed quickly at some
real or fancied sound.
"If he drew away that tiny finger, the waters
would rush forth, and never stop until they had
swept over the town. No, he would hold it there
till daylight — if he lived 1 He was not very sure of
living. What did this strange buzzing mean ? and
then the knives that seemed pricking and piercing
him from head to foot ? He was not certain now
that he could draw his finger away, even if he
"At daybreak, a clergyman, returning from the
bedside of a sick man, thought he heard groans as
he walked along on the top of the dyke. Bending,
he saw, far down the side, a child who seemed to be
writhing with pain.
** * Hi ! ' cried he in astonishment ; * What are you
doing there, boy ? *
** * I am keeping the water from running out,' was
the simple answer of the little hero. ^ Tell them to
" It is needless to add that they did come quickly,
and that the little hero was relieved of his hard post
But the town was safe : and the safety of it and of
all its inhabitants was due to his brave endurance."
Did you ever hear so grand a story? Does it
nearly make you wish there were such dykes in
England, so that some little English child, perhaps
yourself, might save his country thus?
SWKDBN AKD KOBWAY. 105
SWEDEN AND NORWAY.
The Scandinavian peninsula includes the two coun-
tries of Norway and Sweden. A range of rugged
mountains runs from end to end of the peninsula,
filling up nearly the whole of Norway. On the
eastern side, this mountain chain has a rather long
and gradual slope, so that Sweden is a comparatiyely
flat country. In Norway, the mountains approach
so close to the coast that the sea makes its way into
the curious narrow valleys with steep walls of rock
thousands of feet high ; and where there might be
fields with grazing cattle, there is 8ea between the
" Every one who has looked at the map of
Norway must have been struck with the singular
character of its coast On the map it looks so
jagged, such a strange mixture of land and sea, that
it appears as if there must be a perpetual struggle
between the two — the sea striving to inundate the
land, and the land pushing itself out into the sea,
till it ends in their dividing the region between
them. On the spot, however, this coast is very
"The long straggling promontories are moun-
tainous towering ridges of rock, springing up in
precipices from the water; while the bays between
them, instead of being rounded with shelving sandy
shores, on which the sea tumbles its waves, as in
bays of our coast, are, in fact, long, narrow valleys,
106 SWXDBN AND NOBWAY.
filled with sea^ instead of being laid out in fields and
" The high rocky banks shelter these deep bays
(called fiords) from almost every wind ; so that their
waters are usually as still as those of a lake. For
days and weeks together^ they reflect each separate
tree-top of the pine forests which clothe the moun-
tain sides, the mirror only being broken by the leap
of some sportive fish, or the oars of the boatman as
he goes to inspect the sea-fowl from islet to islet of
the fiord, or carries out his nets or his rod to Catch
the sea-trout, or char, or cod, or herrings, which
abound in their seasons on the coast of Norway.
'^ It is difficult to say whether these fiords are the
most beautiful in summer or in winter. In summer,
they glitter with golden sunshine ; and purple and
green shadows from the mountain and forest lie on
them ; and these may be more lovely than the &int
light of the winter noons of those latitudes, and the
snowy pictures of frozen peaks which then show
themselves on the surface; but before the day is
half over, out come the stars — ^the glorious stars
which shine like nothing that we have ever seen —
and these, as they silently glide over from peak to
peak of those rocky passes, are imaged on the waters
so clearly that the fisherman, as he unmoors his boat
for his evening task, feels as if he were about to
shobt forth his boat into another heaven, and to
cleave his way among the stars.
" Still as everything is to the eye, sometimes for
a hundred miles along these deep sea-valleys, there
is rarely silence. The ear is kept awake by a
8WSDBN AND NOBWAT. 107
thousand voices. In the summer there are cataracts,
leaping from ledge to ledge of the rocks ; and there
is the bleating of the kids that browse there, and the
flap of the great eagle's wings, as it dashes abroad
from its eyrie, and the cries of whole clouds of sea-
birds which inhabit the islets ; and all these sounds
are mingled and multiplied by the strong echoes, till
they become a din as loud as that of a city.
'' Even at night, when the flocks are in the fold,
and the birds at roost, and the echoes themselves
seem to be asleep, there is occasionally a sweet
music heard, too soft for even the listening ear to
catch by day. Every breath of summer wind that
steals through the pine forests wakes this music as
it goes. The stiff piny leaves of the flr and pine
vibrate with the breeze like the strings of a musical
instrument, so that every breath of the night-wind,
in a Norwegian forest, wakens a myriad of tiny
harps ; and this gentle and mournful mnsic may be
heard in gushes the whole night through. This
music, of course, ceases when each tree becomes
laden with snow (which is the case for fully seven
months of the year) ; but yet there is sound in the
midst of the longest winter night.
" There is the rumble of some avalanche, as, after
a drifting storm, a mass of snow too heavy to keep
its place slides and tumbles from the mountain peak.
There is also, now and then, a loud crack of the ice
in the nearest glacier. Nor is this all. Wherever
there is a nook between the rocks on shore, where a
man may build a house, and clear a field or two—
wherever there is a platform beside the cataract
eWlSKH AKS MOSWAT.
where the sawyer may plant Ms mill, and make a
path fiom it to join some great road, there is a
hnmaiL habitation and the sounds that belong to it.
Thence, in winter nights, come music and laughter,
and the tread of dancers, and the hum of many voices.
The Norwegians are a social and hospitable people,
and they hold their gay meetings, in defiance of
their Arctic climate, through every season of the
To get from valley to valley during the long winter
is not so difficult a matter as yon would imagine.
The ice makes a smooth road everywhere, on land
and water alike, over which the snug sledges with
their merry bells fly like the wind. These sledges
are light little carriages, fitted with skates instead of
wheels, that glide smoothly along the ice ; they are
drawn by horses, or by the swift-footed reindeer.
The people both of Norway and Sweden find
pleasure in learning and in books, and they read a
great deal ; perhaps because the long winter nights
give them much time within doors. In that part of
Norway which lies to the north of the seventieth
parallel, they never see the sun for two months at a
* Mim Mutinean.
SWBDEN AND KOBWAT. 109
time, but have a long dreary night ; cheered, however,
by beautiful lights in the sky, which are called the
Awrora Borecdia, or the Northern Lights. To make
up for this long winter night they have a summer
day as long ; a bright, hot two months, daring which
the sun is never out of sight. A traveller says, " It
was eleven o'clock at night when we left the Lap-
landers (the strange little people who live quite to
the north) ; and we reached the sea-side a few minutes
before midm'ght It was a glorious evening, the sun
shining waim and ruddy across the calm sound. It
was more like a sunset at Naples than what I had
imagined of midnight within the Arctic circle."
This Scandinavian peninsula is a hug country,
with many varieties of climate between its northern
and southern extremities. Look at the map, and
you will see that much of Sweden lies between the
same parallels as Scotland does ; and, therefore, has
somewhat the same climate. Fruit and com are
grown, and the people are busy farmers in what,
compared with Norway, is almost a flat country.
Stockholm, the capital, is another Venice, built
on many islands; it is nearly as beautiful as the
fair Venice of the souths and is a very much cleaner,
The people of this northern land are, now, a
peaceable and industrious race ; but the hardihood
bred of sea and mountain led them in the old days
to prefer a life of peril and glory on the wild seas to
any wealth got by the tame crafts of the landsman.
They held that whatever upon sea or land they
were strong enough to take was fairly theirs. Where-
fore these Norse Yikings became the terror of all
lands bordering on the northern seas ; and no country
suffered more than England from their ravages.
Indeed^ they conquered much of the country, and
settled upon the pleasant English lands they had
subdued ; so we may reckon the blood of the Vikinffs
with that of the other races which go to make up the
One half of Europe and a third of Asia, and that
third larger than the whole of Europe, are included
in the vast empire of Bussia; indeed, it is a sort
of giant among countries which looks large enough
upon the map to swallow up the rest of the Old
World. But with countries, as with people, good
stuff is often wrapped in small parcels ; and the
greater part of Bussia is not by any means " good
A glance at the map will show you one or two
reasons for this. There is a long sea-coast on the
north, with a good many openings which might
afford harbours for the ships. Yes, but it is the
coast of a frozen sea ; frozen rivers enter it — that is,
the water enters under a coat of many feet of ice ;
frozen marshes border it ; and the ground of Northern
Bussia, both in Europe and Asia, is frost-bound far
below the surface to depths which the hot summer
sun of these northern lands cannot penetrate. Siberia,
as BusBia in Asia is called, is more cruelly cold, more
utterly desolate, than Bussia in Europe in the same
latitudes ; thus Yakutsk is the coldest town in the
world, though Archangel, on the White Sea, lies
further to the north. But in the icy deserts beyond
(hose places there are no towns ; they are only fre-
qaented by hunters, who come hither for the seal, or
to break the ice in quest of fish. Indeed, through-
out the whole of Siberia, the population is not as
much as one person to a whole square mile I
It is not only the northern plains whicli are ex-
cessively cold ; the whole of Bussia has a tar colder,
longer winter than you would expect from its latitude.
The map will, again, tell yoa why : all through the
wide empire there is not a mountain, hardly a hiU,
except the low chain of the Ural Mountains, which
diyide Bussia in Europe from Siberia.
Suppose, for a moment, that we could alter the
map : let us raise a great chain of Alps along the
sixty-fifth parallel, a little to the north of Archangel.
Have you ever taken shelter under a wall from a cold
wind, or from the rain which the wind was driving
before it ? Our new Alps would act like such a wall,
and would shelter the rest of Bussia from the icy
winds that blow down from the frozen plains and
frozen seas about the pole.
Or suppose that, instead of raising new Alps, we
only pile the Ural Mountains three times as high
as they are at present — make them, in fact, as
high as the Swiss Alps. What difference would that
make ? Do you not know the bitter winds that come
to us in the spring, " Winds from the north-east,
good for neither man nor beast " ? Winds that crack
our skins and blow the dust in our faces, and give us
coughs and colds, and nip us up miserably ? Per-
haps you have wondered where these winds came
from : look at the map and you will see — across the
great plain of Europe, that is, over Holland and
Northern Germany and Bussia, over the Urals, which
are not high enough to keep them out, straight off
the frozen wilds of Siberia I No wonder these east
winds should be so cold ; no wonder, either, they
should be so dry as to make our skins smart and
crack; for until they reach the Baltic and North
Seas, they pass over nothing but dry land.
Here is another reason why England has a climate
so much pleasanter than that of the part of Russia in
the same latitude. The sea does not get warm so readily
as the land under the hot sun of summer, nor does it
get so readily cooled in the winter. Therefore, people
go to the seaside for cool breezes in summer ; while,
in the winter, the moist winds from the sea warm the
land. Now, the sea hardly breaks into Bussia at all ;
the north winds reach it over an ocean of ice ; and
the only other waters which border Bussia are those of
two or three inland seas. As you would expect, the
part of Bussia which lies, like England, between 50^
and 55° north latitude, is a great deal colder than
England in winter, and a great deal warmer in
Yon will be surprised to hear that Bussians who
come to England for the winter complain that they
cannot ** stand the cold " of our country. The reason
is that, while you might easily lose your nose by a
bite from Jack Frost if you walked the streets of
St. Petersburg in winter, the houses are kept far
warmer than ours, by means of stoves and pipes,
double windows and doors.
Even the peasants have enormous high stoves,
taking up more than half of their single living and
sleeping-room, and standing high in the middle of
the floor. Do not suppose the space is wasted, how-
ever. The top of the stove is — ^the family bed ! Up
they all clamber, the men rolled in their sheepskins,
which never leave their backs night or day for a
week. What dirty people I you say. Not so fast ;
they are clean once a week, at any rate, which is
more than can be said for all English people. On
Saturday afternoons you may see every soul in a
Bussian village, man, woman, and child, trotting off,
towels in hand, to the public baths. There they go
through a real boiling process ; we should think our-
selves killed if we had to endure the heat of these
baths for ten minutes, but the Bussians enjoy it, and
strangely enough, they often rush straight out of
these steaming baths, naked as they are, to roll in
the cold snow outside.
You would suppose that Southern Bussia, in the
same latitude as France, and washed by the Cas-
pian and Black seas, must be really plcEisant. But
here is a new kind of dreariness ; all the way from
the borders of Austria and Turkey on the west,
to the limits of the Chinese Empire on the east,
stretch the steppes. These are long, dreary, treeless
levels, over which a man might ride day after day for
months without ever coming to the end of them, and
to-day he would see exactly what he saw yesterday
and the day before — a wide, wide waste of pathless
snow in the winter ; an equally dreary waste of brown
parched earth, upon which nothing grows, in the hot
Notwithstanding all this dreariness in the north
and south, Bussia is a famous corn-growing country ;
she not only produces enough for the use of her own
people, but is able to send many shiploads abroad, to
England and other countries which have less room to
grow com for themselves. The middle of Bussia is
this fertile, corn-growing district ; here, too, as well
as in the north, there are immense forests, chiefly of
pine, large enough in some cases to cover the whole
of England. It is said that a squirrel might go
from St. Petersburg to Moscow without ever touching
We have no space to describe the fine buildings of
St. Petersburg, the capital city, which is so grand
that it is called a ^^ city of palaces " ; and we must
pass by the old, half-eastern city of Moscow, the
ancient capital. Nor have we left ourselves room to
speak of the long, slow rivers of Bussia ; not even of
the great Volga, the largest river in Europe, which
bears tea, carpets, slippers, pipes, silks and stuffs, and
a thousand other things, to the great world's fair at
Asia is about five times as large as the adjoining
continent of Europe, and the great features of the
land are all on a larger scale ; it has wider plains,
longer rivers, higher mountains, and, what is peculiar
to Asia, a chain of high tablelands, which stretches
almost across the continent from east to west
In the square made by parallels 30 and 40, and
meridians 70 and 80^ is the central monntain knot of
Asia ; here is the lofty Pamir Steppe, called by the
natives of this region •* the roof of the world " ; here
are the Hindu Eush Mountains, and, branching from
them towards the south-east, the Himalayas, the
** abode of snow." To the north of the Hindu Kush
is the Thian Shan range ; and stretching away from
these to the very north-east point of Asia, to end in
East Cape, are the Altai, Yablonoi, and Stanovoi
The whole of Asia to the north of these monntain
chains is a dreary low plain which belongs to Bussia,
and is an extension of the great plain of Europe. So
dreary is this country of Siberia that Bussia has few
worse punishments for her prisoners than to send
them to live and labour here. Much of it lies beyond
the Arctic circle, and here the ice never fully thaws ;
and the low frozen swamps called tundras^ which lie
round the shores of the Arctic, can hardly be distin-
guished in winter from the frozen waters of the ocean.
The point whiSh stretches furthest towards the pole
is Cape Severe or Chelyuskin. The Obi, Yenisei,
and Lena, the three great rivers which enter the
Arctic, are slow and dull and dreary as the land
they flow through; for several months in the year
their waters creep into the sea under a deep coating
of ice. They are, however, navigated by Bussian
steamers during the short, hot Arctic summer.
This Siberian plain is very important to Bussia,
not only because it is a hunting-ground where the
sable and ermine, bear, wolf, and fox are hunted for
their skins ; it also possesses valuable mines, and
gold is found in many of the rivers. The '^ fur-
country" is chiefly a broad belt of forest land in
the west The peninsula of Eamtschatka on the east
contains seyeral yolcanoes.
On the west, the plain reaches to the south of the
Caspian Sea, and this is a region almost as dreary as
that round the Arctic. It is not frozen, but consists
of sandy desert encrusted with salt and with many salt-
water lakes ; these are supposed to be the remains of
a great sea which once covered the whole district*
Into one of these lakes, called the Sea of Aral^ two
large rivers flow, the Amu Daria and the Syr Daria;
and these and other rivers of this district never find
their way into a sea connected with the ocean.
Patches of brilliant green mark the spots where the
rivers cross the desert, and these look all the more
lovely in contrast with the barrenness around.
Washed by the Black Sea on the north, and by the
Mediterranean on the west, is a country with many
mountains enclosing beautiful valleys, where all our
garden fruits grow wild, and where arer great fields of
roses grown to make " attar of roses." This country
belongs to the Turks and is called Turkey in Asia ;
and along its Mediterranean coast is the Holy Land.
Its two great rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris,
flow nearly side by side over the plain of Meso-
potamia, and join together before they enter the
Persian Gulf. These rivers are famous in history,
because upon the plain which they water stood
Nineveh and Babylon, the two great cities of the
Asia, like Earope, has three great peniosulas on
the gouth. Arabia, the most eastern of these, has
the Bed Sea on one side and the Persian Gulf on
another, and is a huge sandy peninsula without rivers.
In the south is the Great Sandy Desert called
Dahna, with here and there a green oasis sheltered
by a few palm-trees marking the spot where springs
of water bless the barren ground. Here the Bedouins
wander, the wild shepherd Arabs who move their
flocks from oasis to oasis in search of pasture,
and who are the terror of travellers crossing the
To the east of Arabia is Persia, which gives name
to the Persian Gulf ; this was once a mighty king-
dom, though it is not of great importance now. The
Eang, or 8hahf visited England a few years ago, and
his costly jewels were much admired ; these eastern
lands are generally rich in jewels. Much of the
country is desert, but, where fertile, this also is a
land of delicious fruits and fragrant roses. The
people are civilised, and are skilled in some arts.
To the east of Persia, and lying partly between the
60th and 70th meridians, are the three rugged coun-
tries of Baluchistan, Afghanistan, and Turkistan, the
people of which are chiefly occupied in rearing their
flocks and herds. The sheep of Afghanistan have
such broad fat taile that the ehepherdB make little
cradles to support them ; this country is also the
liorae of the long-haired cats which we call Persian.
To the south-east of these is Hindostan or India —
the central peninsula — a lai^ rich country, crowded
with people and towns, nearly the whole of which
belongs to England. The greater part of Hindostan
lies within the torrid zone ; and here are elephants,
lions, and tigers, and other beautiful savage creatnrea
of tropical landa
The peninsula has mountain ranges on either side,
and a tableland in the middle ; its nortbem boundary
is the great range of the Himalayas, containing the
highest mountains in Asia.
Ascending the Himalayas, we are upou the wide,
high tableland of Tibet, to the north of which, and
separated from it by a mountain chain, is a great
sandy desert called the Oo&i or Shamo, both names
meaning " sea of Band."
Both desert and tableland are subject to China,
the country in the east, where most of the tea used
in the world is grown. The two largest rivers,
the Yang-tse-kiang and the Hoang-ho, fall into the
Yellow Sea. This is the land of " fiddle-faddle shoes
one scarcely sees ; " the ladies have very tiny feet,
and the gentlemen wear long hair plaited into pig^
tails. Mountain chains run across the country, and
on the north you will see the Oreai Wall marked on
the map; this is the longest wall which has ever
been built, and it has been considered one of the
wonders of the world. China and the countries
subject to it form an empire. Hong Kong, a beauti-
ful little island off the coast, belongs to Britain, and
many British merchants live there.
The third southern peninsula ends in a curious
long tongue which nearly reaches the equator ; there
are several countries in it, but the whole is known as
Further India. The western provinces belong to
England. Delicious sugar-candy is made in Cochin
China, the country most to the east.
Japan, a kingdom made up of the islands beyond
the Japan Sea, is another crowded and busy country
of Asia. There are so many Japanese things in
England, trays and boxes, and various ornaments, that
most likely you are familiar with some of them. The
people are fond of reading, and print many strange-
looking books with odd pictures. Until quite lately,
Europeans were not allowed to enter the kingdom,
but now the Japanese are anxious to become as
learned and as skilful as some of the nations of
Europe and America; young Japanese have been
122 QITESTIONS OK THS HAP OF ASIA.
sent abroad to learn, and foreign teachers are made
welcome in Japan.
Not one of the nations of Asia is Christian, and
the people are in many ways very unlike Europeans;
they have generally yellow or brownish skins, and
the men for the most part wear loose flowing
Questions on the Map of Asia.
1. Name five seas on the east of Asia.
2. What sea is between the Japan islands and the continent ?
8. What peninsula is on the north-east of Asia?
4. Name three great peninsulas on the south.
5. What empire oocupies aU the north of Asia ?
6. What other great empire occupies the east ?
7. Name four countries in the western half of the continent.
8. What sea, and what mountain chains divide Asia from
9. What ocean washes the south of Asia? The north? The
10. Name a cape upon each of these oceans^
11. What large bay divides the two great southern peninsulas ?
What island lies off the point of India?
12. What four countries form Further India, the most eastward
of these peninsulas ?
13. What waters are on the east and the west of Arabia ? How
is the Bed Sea entered ?
14. Which side of Asia has the most broken coast ? Off which
coast are there many islands ?
15. Give the three names of the mountain range which stretches
across the continent from the Pamir Steppe to the north-east
16. What great desert lies to the south of these mountains, and
what mountains border the desert on the south ?
17. To the south of this desert is a large country which is a
high table-land. Name it, and say by what mountains it is bounded
on the south.
18. How many great rivers rise in this table-land? Through
what countries do they flow ? Name three of them.
19. Wliat great river rises in the Himalayas, and flows into the
Bay of Bengal ^
20. What river rises in the Pamir Steppe, and flows into the
Sea of Aral?
21. The Euphrates and Tigris flow close together through
Torkey in Asia. Into what waters do they fall ?
22. What great river rises in the Altai mountains, and flows
into the Arctic Ocean ? Name its large tributary.
23. What two other great rivers flow into the Arctic ?
24. Between what points would you measure the greatest length
of Asia ? About how long is it between these points ?
25. Where would you measure the greatest breadth? About
how broad is the continent there ?
26. What parts of Asia are mountainous? What parts are
27. Name the southern countries of Asia. The eastern? The
central ? The northern ?
28. Name two great rivers of India; two great rivers of China ;
three of Siberia.
Most people tliink of Persia as a land of nightiiigales
and roses, of orchards and delightful flower-gardens ;
a land where peaches, plums, cherries, almonds — our
choicest garden fruits — grow wild. It is true there
are bowers of roses, and groves of fruit-trees, and
banks of bright-coloured, fragrant plants in the
mountain yalleys, which are watered by hundreds of
rills, and are sweet with the perfume of many flowers.
And there are many of these valleys, for Persia is
skirted by mountain ranges on every side but the
east ; generally, several of these ranges run in a line
with one another, so that the mountain district often
measures 200 miles across. There is a low, desert
plain between the mountains and the Persian Gulf;
and another low plain, very fertile, but unhealthy,
between the mountains and the Caspian ; and this is
nearly all which lies outside of the mountains.
Within this mountain girdle, what shall we find ?
We climb a steep ascent until we reach a pass, one of
the fair and fertile valleys we have spoken of, where
perhaps the land spreads out into a wide platform,
and there are villages and orchards and pure streams.
This pass only opens into another valley, and there
IS another and another mountain chain beyond ; and
we must make a long journey through several passes^
some of them at a great height — several thousand
feet above the sea-level — before we reach that which
lies within the mountains.
We shall be wise not to hasten our journey ; let
us linger in the delightful valleys, or among the black
tents of the wandering shepherd tribes which we
shall find on the mountain slopes.
You think, perhaps, that Central Persia, so diffi-
cult to get at, surrounded thus by a bodyguard of
mountains, should be indeed a garden of roses and
all delights. Examine the map ; you may see one
or two straggling lines to mark waterways, which
appear to end nowhere ; but in all the great space
enclosed by the mountains there is not a single river
which reaches the sea; worse still, in the greater
part of this district no rain ever falls. It is not sur-
prising to see " Great Salt Desert " filling up the
north-eastern comer of the map; a land which is
without water cannot fail to be desert This dreary
waste stretches over thousands of square miles, and is
in some parts coated over with a layer of salt, which
is often an inch thick ; indeed, the whole of Persia,
excepting on the borders of the Caspian Sea and
among the mountains, is dry and barren, and is more
or less a desert.
The coasts of the Gulf are burning sandy solitudes
where little or no rain falls ; and here the mountains
bring no relief. These are awful mountains, high,
hot, and barren, and the valleys between them are
burning and barren, and rise like steps, six or seven
of them, from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the
tableland. For the last of the passes does not lead
you into a valley ; the mountains are but the sides of
a high tableland which stretches into the lands that
border Persia on the east, and is about as high as
our highest English mountains.
The inhabitants of the tableland and of many of
the mountain valleys are a wandering people called
lUyats, who dwell in tents and live by keeping cattle
and sheep. In the cold winter months they and their
cattle find food and shelter on the plains or in the
valleys; in summer they seek the cool mountain
The true Persia/ns live mostly in the cities, which
are generally poor-looking, the houses being very
mean, and iJie streets narrow and irregular. The
bazaars, however, ^are well worth seeing; here are
beautiful embroidered silks and delicate muslins, rich
velvets, china, costly shawls, manufactured from the
long wool of a certain goat, jewelry, perfumes, sabres
—all made by the Persians, who are a skilful and
ingenious people. Their nch, thick silks are very
much admired ; and the mulberry is lai^y grown
in the north, to feed the silkworm. The Persians
are a gay, lively race, fond of poetry and song, and
extremely polite ; but they are not considered sincere
All round the coast of Arabia there is a strip of
sandy desert, terribly hot and dry ; backing this, on
the Bed Sea side, are high mountain chains with
beautiful valleys, where there are streams and
groves and orchards, and the precious date-palm;
and where coffee is grown. Beyond the mountains
there is desert in the north, desert in the south — a
wilderness so awful that the Arabs themselves dare
not venture into its horrid depths — sandy, burning
desert everywhere, except for a mountainous district
in the middle of the country, where many Arabs
Many tribes also dwell in the desert — even, it is
said, in the terrible wilderness of the south. You
need not pity them ; they pity their brethren who
dwell in the towns, and the inhabitants of lands
where these burning solitudes do not exist, for they
think no life so lordly, so happy, as the free life of
the desert. How do they live? you ask. Here and
there the desert yields some herbage ; this is scanty
enough, but by wandering from place to place
according to the season, they do manage to find
pasture for their flocks. In the oases — sunken,
rocky valleys where there are springs and green
herbage and date-palm — ^they may linger long ; and
these oases are frequent enough to make it possible
for caravans to cross the desert
These are made up of persons who have business
at the distant towns, and travel together for safety
upon camels, which carry, also, food and water for the
journey, and merchandise for sale. The Bedomns,
the wandering Arabs of the desert, find these cara*
vans profitable in more than one way : a company
of them is hired to go with the caravan and pro-
tect it ; or, on the other hand, they lie in wait to
plunder the merchants, of whose coming they know
Others besides the bom sons of the desert find
pleasure in this strange wilderness life; travellers
say it is so unlike anything they have known before,
that the hardships of a desert journey are made up
for by the pleasure of novelty.
Mr. Warburton thus describes such an expedi-
tion : — " As long as you are journeying in the
interior of the desert you have no p£u*ticular point
to make for as your resting-place. The endless
sands yield nothing but small stunted shrubs ; even
these fail after the first two or three days, and from
that time you pass through valleys dug out by the
last week's storm, and the hills and the valleys are
sand, sand, still sand, and only sand, and sand again.
The earth is so samely, that you turn your eyes
towards heaven; you look to the sun; he comes
when you strike your tent in the early morning, and
then, for the first hour of the day, as you move for-
ward on your camel, he stands at your near side and
makes you feel that the whole day's toil is before
you. Then for a while, and a long while, you see
him no more, for you are veiled and shrouded, and
dare not look upon the greatness of his glory, but
you know where he strides overhead by the touch of
his flaming sword.
"No words are spoken, but your Arabs moan,
your camels sigh, your skin glows, your shoulders
ache, and for sights you see the pattern and the web
of the silk that veils your eyes, and the glare of the
outer light. Time labours on, and by-and-by the
descending sun softly touches your right arm, and
throws your lan^ shadow over the sand.
"Then begins your season of rest The world
about you is all your own, and there, where you will,
you pitch your solitary tent ; and there is no living
thing to dispute your choice. When at last the spot
had been fixed upon, and we came to a halt, one of the
Arabs would touch the chest of my camel and utter
at the same time a peculiar gurgling sound. The
beast instantly understood and obeyed the sign, and
slowly sank under me, till she brought her body to a
level with the ground, then gladly enough I alighted.
The rest of the camels were unloaded and turned
loose to browse upon the shrubs of the desert, where
shrubs there were : or where these failed, to wait for
the small quantity of food that was allowed them out
of our stores."
At its northern end the Eed Sea forms two gulfs ;
between these two gulfs is a small peninsulay and in
this peninsula is the WUdemesa of Sinai, the desert
in which the children of Israel wandered for forty
The Arabs are all Mahometans : Mahomet him-
self, the founder of this faith, was an Arab, bom in the
town of Mecca; wherefore this town, as also Medina,
where the prophet was buried, are sacred spots which
every Mussulman must visit at least once in his life.
This leads to the Hc^\ the great yearly pilgrimage of
Moslems from half over the world, from Africa,
Turkey, Persia, India, Central Asia, who gather in
huge caravans, and pitch thousands of tents outside
the two sacred cities. The pilgrims take certain daily
walks round the sacred mosque where once Mahomet
sat and taught, make many prayers, drink often of the
sacred well, and kiss the holy Black Stone. All these
rites ended, they prepare to take their way home
again through the weary deserts by which they came.
Not all of them, however ; many of the poorer sort,
worn out with the hardships of the way, just drag
themselves to the pavement of the great mosque to
die where their prophet died ; all day long, whil^
the Haj lasts, men are engaged in burying these
We must not quit Arabia without noticing Ad£N»
a very strong fortress on a barren, sandy spot, near
the entrance of the Bed Sea, which belongs to Great
Britain. Steamers bound for India, which have
come through the Suez Canal and the Bed Sea, stop
at Aden to take in fresh supplies of coal.
180 OUB INDIAK IMPTKE.
OUR INDIAN EMPIRE.
We all know a good deal about India : Indian shawls
and Indian trinkets, work-boxes made of the scented
sandalwood, and chess-men curiously carved in iyory;
make us think of India as a land of rare and delicate
Probably we have seen some dusky-faced ayah
(nurse), shivering in the graceful foreign dress she
mil not be persuaded to give up. She has come
here with^her nursling, some poor, pale, English
baby, born under the hot sun of India, which has
proved as trying to him as the frosts of England are
to his Indian nurse. There are many English people
in India, who are generally rich — -judges and rulers
of the people, officers in the aimy, and merchants —
though there are also English soldiers and artizans.
Most of the English residents try to escape to the
hills before the hot season sets in ; for then the heat
is intense, and a huge fan, called a ptrnkah, is kept
constantly mov;ing in every house.
You will see by the map that much of India is
within the tropics ; and, throughout the country, the
year is divided, as in all tropical lands, into a wet and
a dry season. The hot season begins about March ;
then the scorching rays of the sun destroy every
green thing ; there is never a cloud to deaden the
glare unless it be a cloud of dust, which the hot dry
wind has raised from the parched earth ; everything
you touch is hot — wood, iron, stone. At last, about
r jf-fD r A y ocean
132 OVB INDIAN XHPIB1&.
the beginning of June, heavy clouds begin to roll
across the sky, and then follows a thunder-storm,
such as is never known in temperate regions^ with
much wind and torrents of rain.
When the thunder ceases, nothing is heard but
the pouring of the rain, which comes down in a
steady stream. The river channels soon overflow,
and rushing streams add to the sound of waters
everywhere. After several days the sky clears,
and it would seem as if the parched earth had
been covered with a magical mantle of green. The
change is as great as if the bare brown fields of
February in England were suddenly to burst into the
green freshness of May. The rains continue to fall
from time to time until September, when they
depart amidst thunder and lightning as they cama
This rainy season is called the Wet Monsoon^ a
word which means "season." The period which
follows the rains is the coolest and pleasantest time
of the year.
We have spoken of the great numbers of English
people who live in India, not for pleasure, but
because they have some kind of employment there*
Perhaps you know the reason ; this mighty country,
as large as half of Europe, belongs to England ! It is
not quite right, however, to speak of India as a single
country ; it is a sort of continent in itself containing
many nations, the people of which speak as many as
thirty different languages. Our Queen has lately
been declared Empress of India, as it was thought
proper that the sovereign of so many states should be
an empress. And a very splendid empire India is.
OUB INDIAN SMPIBE. 188
" From the line of the Himalaya southward to the
extreme cape on the Indian Ocean, India occupies a
space more thsLU fifteen times as large as our island
of Britain ; a journey across it from north to south,
or from east to west (about 1800 miles), would
require half a year if one travelled ten miles every
The story of how this great empire came to belong
to England is too long to tell. India had long been
known as a land where the merchants might load
their ships with precious cargoes — ^gold and precious
stones, silk embroidery, and ivory. In a.d. 1600, a
company of London merchants got a charter from
Queen Elizabeth, which gave them the sole right of
trading in all seas east of the Gape of Good Hope.
No trade was so profitable as that with India, and
by and by these merchants gained permission from
the native princes to build, here and there, ware-
houses for their goods, and fortresses to protect
them. They formed these trading places at Surat,
Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay.
For a hundred years or more, this company of
merchants, called the " East India Company," carried
on their trade, but did not gain much power.
The Emperors of India at that time were called
the Great Moguls ; they had many native princes
under them who often rebelled, and the European
settlers, French and English, were called upon to
help one side or the other. The English merchants
generally sent their soldiers to the aid of the Great
Mogul. In the course of one quarrel, the Nabob
Surajah Dowlah took the English town of Calcutta.
184 OTJB INDIAN BICPIBE,
The horrible crime of the " Black Hole of Calcutta "
followed. One handled and forty-six persons were
shut up in a room twenty feet square. The air-holes
were small. It was in the height of summer, when
the fierce heat of Bengal can hardly be borne by
natives of England, even when they dwell in lofty
halls, and are cooled by the constant waving of fans,
A night of agonies, too frightful to describe, followed.
In the morning, only twenty-three wretched beings
were drawn out alive from among the dead bodies of
This event added, in the end, very much to the
power of England in India.
In the following year, 1757, Colonel dive, a great
statesman and soldier, defeated Surajah Dowlah in
the famous battle of Plassey, when 3000 men were
victorious over 60,000 of the enemy.
This victory added the fertile country of Bengal^
which now includes nearly the whole of Northern
India, to the English.
At the present time, the East India Company has
been done away with, and the Empress Victoria rules
over India. She appoints a Oovemor-OenercU to live
in India and act for her there. The three great
governments of British India are celled Presidencies;
these are, Bengal in the north, Madras in the east^
and Bombay in the west. These cover the greater
part of India. There is no longer a Great Mogul, but
there are still many native princes, most of whom,
however, are subject to the English Govemor-
Generalt There are two free states among the
northern mountains, Nepal and Bhotan ; and France
OUX INDIAN KHPIBB.
and Portugal have also a few scattered poaaessions.
Witli theae ezceptioiiB, India is nnder ttie rule of
OUR INDIAN EUPIBB.
Hiin>08TAN has on tlie north the lofty chain of the
Himalaya Mountains, or rather, the vast tableland
of Tibet, of which this range forms the aonthem
border. Six of these mountains are fully five miles
in height, and one of them, Mount EvereBt, ia the
highest mountain in the world (29,002 feet).
Are you trying to im^ine how awfnl it must be
to look up a mountain-wall five miles in height, high
186 OUB INDIAK BMPIBl.
enough, you might think, to touch the sky? The
Himalayas do not tower above the plain in this awfal
way, and nowhere do they look astonishingly high,
because the snowy summits can only be seen from
a great distance, which causes them to seem low.
From the base of the mountains, only their slopes
are to be seen, which are coyered with various forest
trees, and, higher up, with rhododendrons. A traveller
who tries to cross this mighty ridge, which is three
hundred and fifty miles in width, finds himself con?
stantly shut in between the crags, and only now and
then gets a glimpse of countless snowy peaks, and of
In these high snowfields rise the three great rivers
of India, the Indus, the Ganges, and the Bramah*
pootra, which water the low plain at the foot of the
mountains. This low plain stretches right across
the country, and the greater part of it is exceedingly
rich and fertile.
The Ganges is the sacred river of the Hindoos,
who make it part of their religion to bathe in its
waters. For tliis purpose there are grand flights of
steps leading down to the river from some of the
to\¥ns ; and upon these steps swarm crowds of the
slight, dark-skinned Hindoos in their light cotton
dothing. None are more crowded than the hand*
nsome steps at Benares, a sacred city in which there
are more than a thousand idol-temples.
The melting of the mountain snows causes the
rivers to overflow and flood the plain ; and the rich
mud they leave behind makes the fields fertile for the
rice crops which support most of the people of Indian
OUB INDIAN SMFIBE. 187
The towns and villages swarm with people, and
most of these are engaged in tilling the soil ; but
they are not clever farmers by any means; their
rude ploughs are drawn by oxen, and they reap their
crops with the sickle. The soil, however, is very
fertile, and yields cotton, sugar, delicious fruits, and
several kinds of com. The fields and gardens are
full of scented flowers, and every village stands
among groups of the shady mango-tree, which yields
a refreshing fruit, and of the wonderful banyan.
This tree, which the Hindoos consider sacred, is a
forest in itself; the branches produce long shoots
which descend to the ground and penetrate the soil ;
so that in course ^f time a single tree becomes a vast
green tent supported by many columns. No fewer
than three hundred stems, each thicker than the
trunk of a large oak, and more than three thousand
smaller ones have been counted in a single tree.
The fruit of the banyan is of a rich scarlet colour,
and about the size of a cherry ; it is eaten by the
monkeys ; and multitudes of these live, with birds
and enormous bats^ in the thick forest of its
An English child must think with terror of the
dangers which surround an Indian village. There,
the cry of the jackal would disturb his night, the
fierce tiger might pounce upon him, some huge and
deadly serpent, as the cobra, might wind about his
body, or, if he ventured near the banks of the river,
the jaws of the terrible crocodile might open to
receive him. Nowhere are these dangers greater than
in the district called the StmderhundSf which is the
OUB IHStAlT MxraM.
hanot of wild beasts. Yoa will see by the map that
the Ganges divides into many months before it reaches
the sea, and the land between these, the delta of the
river, is low and marshy and covered with jangle, that
18, thickly matted, low-growing wood, where the
beasts are safe, because men cannot easily penetrate.
This district is called the Sunderhtrndg.
' Very few of the mouths of the Granges afford pas-
sage for ships, bat npon the Hooghly, which is the
most navigable, stands the great town of Calcutta, the
" city of palaces," which is the most important town
of British India. The " palaces " and grand honsea
OTJB INDIAN SMFISl. 189
and gardens belong only to that part of the city in
which the English people liye ; the suburbs where
the Hindoos swarm are yery poor and mean. One
of the strange sights of the city is the stately elephant
inarching through the streets with the howdah on his
back, containing eight or ten persons ; the driver sits
perched upon his neck.
There are many other famous towns in this valley
of the Ganges, which is the richest and most fertile
part of India. Dacca, which stands where the
mouths of the Brahmapootra join those of the Ganges,
was once famous for its beautiful muslins, so soft and
fine that they received the name of " flowing water."
Fatna gives its name to the best kind of Indian rice.
Lucknow is famous for a terrible siege. Upon the
Jumna, a tributary of the Ganges, are Agra and
Delhi ; the latter was celebrated once for its wonderful
silks embroidered with gold. The natives of India
are exceedingly clever with their fingers, and some
of their manufactures are much more beautiful and
perfect than English people can produce by means of
OUR INDIAN EMPIRE.
The Indus ^drains the North-west of India. The
northern part of its valley is a fertile district,
watered by five rivers, all of which join the Indus j
140 OTJB INDIAN BMPIBX.
this district is called the Punjab, a name which
means "fiye rivers." It affords pasture for vast
herds of camels, cattle, sheep, and goats. Then
follows a dreary tract, the Great Indian Desert, which
is twice as large as Britain, and is covered with wave-
like ridges of sand, and can, for the most part, only
be crossed by camels. On the coast there is a curious
stretch of level land called the Eunn of Eutch. This
is a salt desert, which the sea overspreads dilring the
Southern India, the peninsula, is occupied for the
most part by a wide tableland called the Deccan,
which is marked by waving treeless plains, flat-
topped hills, and wide stretches of jungle. This
tableland has, on either side, ranges of hills called
Ghats or Ghauts. The Western Ghats are bold
and rugged, and are covered with forests of teak,
which affords a very hard kind of timber used in
shipbuilding. Bombay, the capital of the Bombay
Presidency, is the most important town on the
western coast; it is a most unhealthy place for
Europeans. The Eastern Ghats are much lower
than the Western, and run at a greater distance from
the sea. Between them and the Bay of Bengal is a
low plain called the Carnatic, which would be very
fertile but for the want of water. The Presidency
of Madras lies along this coast, and the town of
Madras is its capitaL The Deccan has the Vindhya
Hills on the north, and the Nilgiri Hills, upon which
coffee is largely grown, on the south.
Off the south point of India, and divided from it
by Palk's Strait, is the delightful island of Ceylon,
OUB INDIAN BMPIBX. 141
the '^ jewel of the eastern seas.'* So lovely is Ceylon
that the Mahometans belieye, here was the Para-
dise in which Adam and Eve dwelt. Upon Adam's
Peak, the highest mountain in the island, is a mark
like the print of a huge human foot ; and the legend
is that before he left this paradise, Adam climbed
the mountain to take a last fond look, and that his
footprint remained in the rock. Coffee plantations
cover the lower slopes of the hills, and higher up
are forests hung with beautiful creepers. The date*
palm, cinnamon, spices, and sugar, are among the
rich products of this island where " every prospect
pleases " ; and there is a famous pearl-fishery off the
coast. Ceylon, more than any other part of the
world, abounds with precious stones. We must not
leave India without a word about its gems; diamonds,
rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are found in various
parts. The most famous of Indian gems is the
£oh-i-noor, the largest diamond in the world, which
is now in the possession of our Queen.
A good deal ofFurther India, the curiously shaped
peninsula to the east of the Bay of Bengal, belongs
to England. Bbitish Burma is the long strip of
country along the north coast, containing the enor-
mous delta of the Irrawadi. In this low country,
cut up by many streams, are huge rice-fields ; and
the wooden huts of the people are raised high upon
piles to save them from destruction by the river
floods. Bangoon, the capital city, swarms with the
gaily clothed, merry-looking natives. Further south,
near the end of the peninsula, is Malacca, a British
settlement about as large as a small English county.
142 THS COBLBBTIAL EMPIBE,
Malacca exports tapioca and sago« Sikgapobe is 6
rich and pleasant island off the point which also
belongs to Britain.
THE CELESTIAL EMPIRE.
Febeulps China is, to us, the most interesting of
eastern countries. Our cup of tea is a cup of fellow-
ship with the natives of the " Flowery Land "; and
we feel kindly towards the people who produce the
precious plan^ and who enjoy the infusion even more
than we do. Then the Chinese are such queer folk,
that is to say, their customs are so unlike our own,
that we find information about themselves and their
country very amusing.
We know that John Chinaman rejoices in a pig-
tail, made of his own hair or somebody else's, which
reaches nearly to his ankles ; that he begins to read
or write at the bottom instead of at the top of the
page, at the right-hand comer instead of at the left ;
that he likes the finger-nails of his left hand to be
enormously long, in order to show that he does no
hard work ; and that, even when he is an old man;
he finds much pleasure in flying a kite. Facts like
these amuse us, but perhaps we do not know much
about the appearance of the country, or the way in
which the people live.
Besides China Proper, the Chinese Empire includes
certain large and little known countries to the north
THE OXLBSTIAL XMFIBB. 143
and west. One of these is the Corea, the peDinsnla
which partly shuts in the Yellow Sea ; it has its own
king, and only pays a small annual tribute in silver
to the Emperor of China. It is supposed that there
are no Christians in the country.
To the north of the Corea is Manchuria, whose
people conquered China two centuries ago, and
placed a Manchu soyereign at the head of the
Celestial Empire. These three eastern countries,
China, Corea, and Manchuria, are full of industrious
people who dwell in houses, and either till the soil
or gather together in busy trading towns.
Mongolia is an enormous country, which stretches
westward as far as the Thian-shan Mountains. Here
the people dwell neither in towns nor Tillages ; they
have no houses, and they do not till the land, but
live in yurts, or tents, and wander about with their
herds over the grassy lands at the foot of the
mountains which shut in this tableland of Mongolia.
A great part of this country is occupied by an
enormous stony desert, called the Gobi or Shamo,
which is 2000 miles in length and 500 in width;
this desert is full of terror to the Chinese, who
imagine it to be peopled with giants and dwarfis and
Tibet is, like Mongolia, a yast tableland; but
while Mongolia is between 3000 and 4000 feet above
the leyel of the sea (that is, the whole country
is about as high as the highest of the British
mountains), Tibet, which is about eight times as
large as Great Britain, is raised on the average from
11,000 to 15,000 feet above the sea-level, that is,
144 THE CELESTIAL EMPIRE.
taken altogether, the whole region is as high as
the highest peaks among the Alps. Here are bare
grassy plains where herds of wild asses and antelopes
feed, and the great long-legged wild sheep, whose
horns are " so large that the fox is said to take np his
abod^ in their hollows when detached and bleaching
on the barren mountains of Tibet." Great lakes lie
in these grassy plains; and, among the mountain
snows, the famous rivers of India and China take
their rise. The Tibetans are governed for the most
part by their priests, who are called lamas, and live
together in large monasteries, which are often rich
and splendid ; in one of these, which is famous for
its gold-roofed temple, more than three thousand
priests dwell. The people are, for the most part,
wandering herdsmen, like those of Mongolia; they
are only in very slight subjection to China.
Having noticed the countries which form part of
the great Chinese Empire, we return to China itself,
— a land which teems with people, containing more
than 400 millions of inhabitants.
China consists of one long slope of more than a
thousand miles, reaching from the Yun-ling or Snowy
Mountains on the west, to the shores of the Pacific
on the east. Mighty rivers drain this slope, the chief
of them being the Yang-tse-kiang, 3000 miles in
length, and the yellow Hoang-ho, both of which take
their rise in the mountains of Tibet. These rivers
bring down much earth in their course, and, when
they overflow their banks, spread a rich coating of
river mud over the low plains of the coast. In this
way the Great Plain of China, which reaches &om
THE OELESTIAL EMPIBE. 145
the city of Peking to the city of Nanking, has been
made one of the most fertile regions in the world.
Not alone to natural causes does China owe the
great fertility of its soil ; there are no such diligent
farmers in the world as the Chinese. They are not
clever like the Scotch in inventing new plans, and
in making use of machines ; everything is done in
China as it has been done for two thousand years ; all
farming work is done by hand, with no better imple-
ments than the spade and the hoe. Horses are
never employed, because they eat too much, and
there are so many people in China that every inch of
ground is made use of to grow food for them ; there-
fore, as there are no grass fields, there are but few of
the creatures which generally live upon grass, such
as horses, cows, and sheep.
Because they produce food for the people, farmers
are held in high honour in China ; only the learned
men take higher rank, and these are quite the
principal people, the noblemen or mandarins of the
The mulberry, rice, and the tea-plant yield the
crops upon which the Chinese bestow the most labour ;
rice is the most important of these, because upon
this crop the people mainly depend for food. Eice
requires a great deal of moisture, so it is grown
chiefly round the lower courses of the great rivers,
and under the hot sun of Southern China.
The Chinese farmer is never at a loss for water
to flood his paddy (or rice) fields, for canals are as
common in the great plain of China as roads are in
England ; indeed, there are few good roads beyond
146 THs cKLsaTiAi. EKPHti.
the towDB, and do railroads, as all the carrying and
travelling are done by water. The Imperial Canal
is one of the most bmoos public works of China ;
it connects the rivers Hoang-ho and Yang-tse-kiang,
and 18 700 miles in length. By means of this canal
it ia possible to go in a jnnk from Canton, the great
eoutbern port, to the royal city of Peking in the
north, with only one interruption.
We are all familiar with the clumsy appearance
of the Chinese junk, and perhaps we know the story
of bow a certAin Chinese emperor, on being asked for
a pattern for boats which should last for all time,
took off his shoe, wherefore, upon that pattern all
junks have been made ever since ; but, though it is
not a graceful object, the mandarin-junk offers a very
pleasant and comfortable means of travelling.
THS 0BLB8TIAL BMPISE. 147
THE CELESTIAL EMPIRE.
HoNa-KONG, the Chinese for "sweet water/' is
a beautiful island ; and the broad, well-kept, very
clean streets of the town of Victoria show that the
island is British, or at any rate, is not Chinese. The
streets are eyery where planted with fine trees, which
afford some shelter from the rays of the sun. The
port is crowded with vessels of every shape and size,
the most interesting of which are the junks ; one
end of these rises like a house, with windows and
doors, two storeys above the water.
All Chinese cities are very much alike ; a rather
shabby wall of blue bricks surrounds the whole ; the
houses are low, generally only one storey high, and
never more than two; and the pagodas, or idol
temples, which are sometimes as much as nine storeys
high, tower above every other building, for it is not
lawful in China to build houses as high as temples.
The streets are narrow and not very clean, but are
always lively, and filled with jostling crowds of good-
humoured Chinamen ; how they manage to pass one
another in their broad bamboo hats, the brims of
which are often a yard across, is a marvel. The narrow
streets are not, however, blocked up by wheeled
carriages or carts; the eooiiea carry everything —
timber, stone, iron, rice, whatever has to be moved ;
and they bear the rich people aloft on their shoulders
in palanquins, or sedan chairs.
Coolie and mandarin alike have yellow com*
plexions, narrow black eyes, small round noses, and
plaited tails of hair; both wear long bine robes
reaching nearly to their feet, but the coolie's blouse
is of cotton, while the rich man wears dark blue silk,
and his loosely-fitting silken trousers hang oyer black
satin shoes with thick white soles, which are turned
up at the toes like a boat. The lady's dress is yery
like her husband's, only that her robe is usually of
pink or green silk, with wide flowing sleeves' lined
with satin and splendidly embroidered ; but the lady
is rarely seen abroad, as her tiny cramped feet,
called in China *' golden lilies," are not of much use
Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean, and
from Asia by the Bed Sea, is Africa, the hottest of
the continents, the greater part of which lies within
the tropics, which, as you will recollect, enclose the
torrid or burning zone.
This continent is the home of the huge hippopo-
tamus and rhinoceros ; here wild elephants roam in
herds, and are hunted for the precious ivory of their
tusks ; here are the swift-footed zebra and the
graceful antelope, and apes of many kinds. Here
the tall giraffe stretches its neck to gather the tender
top shoots of the palm; and in forest and desert
prowl the beasts of prey which aVe the terror of the
S I A
I N D
? . .
. "'«". T , . "
rest — the lion and panther, jackal and hyena. The
fleet ostrich skims the deserts of Africa, and the
crocodile suds itself in the mud of its rirer banks.
Oa these warm shores the swallow and the caokoo
find another summer when our winter cold has
driven them away ; and this is the native home of
the black-sklDDed, woolly-haired Negro race.
The map shows that the sea nowhere finds it way
far into the continent, that there ate few mighty
rivers, and that the mountain ranges run, generally,
near the coast. For these reasons it is very difficult
to reach the interior of Africa, and a great part of
it is yet unknown, though there is no quarter of
the globe that travellers have laboured more to
The courses of the rivers generally guide these
explorers; and many lives have been lost in the
attempt to find the source of the Nile, the famous
river in the east which flows into the Mediterranean,
Bruce, the great traveller, discovered the source of
the branch called the "Blue Nile," and other travellers
have found that the White Nile passes through a
lake upon the equator which they have named the
Victoria Nyanza, after our Queen.
Dr. Livingstone, a brave missionary and explorer,
was killed by the hardships and dangers he had to
endure while searching for the true source of the
And great, indeed, are those dangers : in many
places the explorers must make their way through
marshes into which they sink shoulder deep, often
having at the same time to hew paths for themselves
through the thick growth of marsh plants. Hours
of toil in such mud baths as these under a burning
sun commonly end in fever, and this is often
a fated sickness. Then, too, there are the native
tribes to be dreaded, so savage in parts of Africa that
they eat the flesh of men ; and even where the
natives are friendly, the fearful wild beasts of forest
and jungle are continually " seeking their meat."
Though so little is know of its beginning, no
river is more famous in the history of the world
than the Nile in its lower course. It was in this
river that Pharaoh's daughter came to bathe when
she found the infant Moses ; and upon its banks is
Egypt, the country of the Pharaohs, where Joseph
stored the com against times of famine. Com grows
freely in this land, because the Nile overflows its
banks for many miles on either side every year, and
leaves a thick bed of rich black mud for the corn
seeds. No rain falls in the greater part of Egypt,
and the river supplies the only water.
The fertile valley and delta of the Nile are shut in
by burning deserts, and the fresh green of the
springing com looks all the more beautiful by con-
trast. Far and wide over the level delta in harvest
time there waye fields of wheat and rice, sugar-
cane and cotton. In other parts are rich pastures
dotted with herds of cattle, asses, sheep, and goats.
Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the greatest city in
all Africa. It contains an immense number of
houses, with narrow crooked streets, over which the
slim tapering minarets of hundreds of mosques rise
like a forest. A crowd of people of all nations
moves through its streets and bazaars. In 1869
the cutting of the Suez Ship-canal from the Mediter-
ranean to the Bed Sea was completed, and now about
fifteen hundred great ships pass through this channel
every year. Port Said, a modern town, stands at the
Going up the Nile from Cairo the first objects that
attract attention are the great pyramids of Gizeh.
These are huge buildings erected by the Pharaohs,
the purpose of which it is diflScult to discover ; for
enormous as they are, there is not room within
them for a man to stand upright. It is supposed
they were partly intended for royal tombs. They
are broad at the base, and gradually taper to a
Nubia, which lies higher up the river, is included
in Egypt; here the banks of the Nile are so high
that the river never overflows, but the country is
watered by regular rains. Nubia is famous for its
To the south of Nubia is Abyssinia, a fertile and
plesusant country, which consists of a lofty tableland
with many mountains and lakes, and valleys where
the sugar-cane, cotton, coffee, corn, and various fruits
grow freely. Abyssinia has a rainy season which
lasts for several months. The people are of a brown
colour, becoming almost white in the north; have
curved noses and bright eyes, and are brave, active,
and clever. They know how to make leather and to
forge iron, and are acquainted with some other
arts; but their chief wealth consists in their
There are five states along the Mediterranean
which are inhabited by two rather fair races, — the
Arabs, who live in towns and occupy themselves in
trading; and the Berbers, who live in tents and
tend cattle. These are the States of Barbary ; the
lofty range of the Atlas Mountains runs through
them ; they have a pleasant climate, and the people
are civilised. The name of Morocco, the western
state, is known to us through the fine leather which
is made all over the coimtry ; that and the red caps
which take their name from the town of Fez are the
only manufactures* Algiers, the adjoining state, is
DOW a FreDch colony, and has bo delightfol a climate
that every year many invalids from Europe winter
SoiTTH of the Barbary States, and stretching &om
the Atlantic on the one side to the valley of the Nile
on the other, is the Sahara, or Great Desert We
are apt to think of the Sahara as a vast sea of
burning sand over which the caravans journey day
after day with never & cloud to screen them from
the gtara of the fiery sun overhead ; where the hot
wiud (Hf the desert drives the sand before it in
terrible sand-stormSy to settle at last in ridges or
duneSy under which many a caravan, overtaken by
these storms, lies buried. This is a true description
of the northern borders of the desert, where these
dunes form a great belt, 2000 miles in length and
from 200 to 800 miles wide ; but the interior consists
in great part of tablelands. These are sometimes
covered with sharp boulders of dark stone strewn so
thick that the caravans can hardly make way ; some-
times they are covered with small pebbles ; and
again, with a prickly plant which hurts the feet of
the camels, though it affords them some food.
It would not be possible to live in or even to cross
this terrible desert, only that here and there are
oases ; these are tracts with springs of water, some
coarse grass, and always the friendly shelter of the
date-palm. There are hundreds of little oasis-states
scattered throughout the desert where the few
scattered inhabitants chiefly dwell. Some tribes of
these earn a living by guarding the caravans in
their passage across the desert ; they are generally
tall and handsome, and wear a shawl wound round
face and head as a protection against the blown
sands of the desert. The great caravan routes gene-
rally run from north to south, from the ports of the
Mediterranean to the fertile countries of the Soudan.
The merchants bring from the south ostrich feathers,
gold-dust, slaves, and ivory; from the north they
bring the cottons, trinkets, and cutlery of Europe,
South of the desert, between the 15th parallel and
the 5th parallel north of the equator, lies Soudan,
the real Negro Land, This is an exceedingly hot
region : it is a vast tableland, with mountains, and
many rivers and lakes which are fed by abundant rains.
So in place of waterless desert with dried-up river-
beds as in the Sahara, the Soudan is full of well-
peopled, fertile, and cultivated lands, with many
settled nations and countries. This 'Mand of the
blacks " is merry enough of an evening, for the people
of the villages turn out of their homes to sing and
dance to noisy music. They do not play all day, how-
ever ; they till their land, and know how to weave and
dye cotton cloth made from cotton they have grown
themselves; they live in towns, build two-storied
houses, trade, and are a strong and civilised race.
Only a small part of the Soudan is yet known to
Europeans; it includes many countries, and some
British and other foreign settlements on the coast
Senegambia is the name given to Western Soudan,
which is watered by the rivers Senegal and Grambia
France, Portugal, and Britain have settlements
here, those of Britain being chiefly on the river
Gambia and on Bathurst, at its mouth. Sierra
Leone, the " lion hill," three days* voyage south of
the Gambia, forms part of the same colony : it was
in the first place founded by English people as a
refuge for slaves captured by our vessels ,along the
coast ; and to the present day English vessels watch
the coast to prevent the export of slaves ; but this
does not affect this traffic in the interior, indeed
one-half the inhabitants of the continent are the
slaves of the other half. The trade of these British
settlements is chiefly in palm-oil, from which the
greater part of our soap is made at home.
Going south along the coast we come to the negro
republic of Liberia, where the climate is dangerous
to Europeans, though it suits the negroes very well.
Here, also, the oil-palm grows very freely, and its
bunches of red and yellow fruit often have a
thousand oil-yielding plums in each, the bunch
weighing in some cases half a hundredweight.
Passing by the Ivory Coast, we come to the Gold
Coast of Guinea, which is now entirely in the hands
of the British. It is rich in the oil-palm, but the
climate is exceedingly dangerous to Europeans. All
attempts to introduce cattle and horses have failed,
owing to the presence of the poisonous tsetse fly.
The natives are negroes. The chief British station
is Cape Coast Castle, named from its great church-
like fort on the water's edge, beside the filthy native
Behind the Gold Coast lies the country of the
warlike negro people called the Ashantees.
Adjoining Ashantee is Dahomey, a barbarous negro
state where festivals are marked by the murder of
many people, and where the king has an army of
Amazons, or women-soldiers, to protect him.
The town of Lagos, a little further on, belongs to
Britain, and the steamers from Liverpool which
trade with it carry home cargoes of palm-oil and
Next we reach the levels of the Niger district, a
most unhealthy region of swamps overgrown with
the deadly mangrove. This dark tree spreads over
the low coasts of Western Africa as far south as the
mouth of the Congo, that is, over the coasts of the
disttict called Lower Guinea. It delights in mad,
and its huge roots are constantly multiplying, and
new roots are sent down from the branches, so that
a single tree forms a dense grove in which the air is
filled with unwholesome moisture fatal to Europeans.
Little is known as yet of the inland countries of the
Soadan. The negroes or black men Dative to Central
Africa are marked generally by their black woolly
hair, protrading lips, and flattened noses ; they are
fond of ornament, and, above all, of dancing ; they
may be lively and happy one moment, and tiien
change saddenly to a sad or angry mood.
Of Eastern Africa, also, little is known as yet.
The great eastern promontory is inhabited by a tall,
well-made people, with brown skins, who become
less and less civilised towards the equator.
South of the equator we come to a most interest-
ing region which many travellers have, during the
last forty years, tried to explore. These have dis-
covered the two snowy mountains, Eenia and Kili-
manjaro, the highest in Africa, the great lake
Victoria Nyanza, through which the Nile flows,
Tanganyika Lake, and Lakes Nyassa, Shirwa, and
others. The great Zambesi river was explored by
- The east coast of Africa from Cape Belgado to
Delagoa Bay is claimed by Portugal. The great
island of Madagascar is not connected with Africa in
any way ; its people are a distinct race, and it has a
government of its own.
Nearly the whole of South Africa belongs to Great
Britain, which rules over all the land from Cape Frio
on the west to Delagoa Bay and the Limpopo
river on the east — ^with the exception of the small
Orange Free State. Of these possessions, the Cape
Colony is the most important ; it includes .all the
land south of the Orange Eiver ; on the east, it is
bounded by the Drakenberg Mountains.
From the coast inwards, the country rises step by
step in a series of terraces which run from east to
west. These terraces sometimes rise into mountain
ridges, whoso seaward slopes are the most habitable
parts of the colony, and are occupied by villages,
com farms, and vineyards, orchards and tobacco
plantations. Beyond the Zwarte Bergen (Black
Mountains) lie the wide undulating plains called the
Oreat Karroo. Here farms are few, for water is
scarce, and the water channels are dry except after
thunder-storms ; the land here is treeless^ though in
some parts stunted bushes are thinly scattered, and at
most times of the year the prospect is dreary. Yet
after rain, as if by enchantment, the whole plain is
covered with a lovely green vegetation, with flowers
of every hue. The heaths of the Cape Colony have
a world-wide fame, as have the bulbous plants and
orchids which cover the ground in September and
October with a sheet of gaudy blossoms. The Great
Karroo is divided into immense sheep ^^runs,"
whereon millions of sheep find pasture. Wool is the
principal export of the colony.
The south-western peninsula, which ends in the
famous Cape of Good Hope, is picturesque and
beautiful with mountain and forest; it contains
Table Mountain (3582 feet), whose flat top is often
so covered with drooping clouds as to look like a
table with a table-cloth on it
The streams of the Cape Colony become furious
torrents after rain, but almost disappear at other
seasons. Not one of them is of much value for
navigation ; the largest, the Orange Eiver, is ob-
structed by rapids and falls, and its mouth is blocked
up by a sandbank.
Gape Colony is not a hot country; it has four
seasons as we have, though, of course,, at opposite
times — Janufiiry falling in midsummer^ July in mid-
Thorns and prickles are characteristic of many
South African plants; some trees, such as the
"dornboom," have spikes which have been compared
to ox-horns ; and there are many odd-looking cactus-
like plants. Wheat is largely cultivated, and so are
maize, oats, and barley. The grapes of Constantia,
on the peninsula of the Cape of Good Hope, are said
•to be the finest in the world.
Since the lion, leopard, and other beasts of prey
have been driven away to the north of the Orange
river, the sheep have increased in an extraordinary
degree, and they yield an immense quantity of
wool. Oxen dragging great canvas-covered waggons
are the chief means pf conveyance in the colony,
except where railways have been constructed. In the
ostrich farms here the birds are fenced in and stabled
like sheep or horses, to be plucked of their valuable
feathers when these come to maturity ; their eggs
are hatched in artificial nests warmed by hot water.
There are not many people as yet in the colony,
only about four or five to the square mile: the
Europeans — British and Dutch — are the most numer-^
ous. Besides these, there are a few Hottentots left,
who are short, of a pale yellow-brown colour, light-
heai*ted, and lazy; and the Kafirs, who are taU,
dark brown in colour, active, and well made ; many
of these are no longer savages. The Hottentots
were the only inhabitants when the colony was dis-
covered. The capital is Cape Town, a large town
which lies between Table Mountain and the shores
of Table Bay ; gaa-ligliting, gaxdens^ tramways and
railway stations give it all the air of a European
town. Port Eb'zabeth, on Algoa Bay, is the second
town, and is a bustling seaport full of warehouses
and stores to which huge waggons bring down the
wool and hides of the interior for shipmeatb
Grahamstown is an important place in the interior.
Kafibland is the fertile and well-watered coimtry
which lies between the Drakenberg Mountains and
the Indian Ocean ; it is inhabitated chiefly by Eafin^
but is under the control of British magistrates.
Natal» to the north of Eafirlandy ako lies be-
tween the Drakenberg Mountains and the Indian
Ocean: it is full of mountain spurs, which slope
down from the Drakenbeig; it has a delightful
climate and a fertile soil ; cattle and sheep are reared
on the wide grass pastures, and com crops, coffee,
and sugar are largely grown. The natives are Kafirs,
and these are so lazy that Hindoo coolies are im-
ported to do the work.
There are but few Europeans — ^English, Dutch,
and German, and these live for the most part in the
two towns of the colony, the seaport of Durban or
Port Natal, and Fietermaritzburg, where the British
The Orange Free State is a republic, and consists
of grassy plains upon which many sheep and cattle
are fed, so that sheep-fSarming is the principal
business of the Dutch settlers.
The Transvaal lies between the rivers Yaal and
Limpopo ; vast herds of cattle and flocks of sheep
are reared on the hills, and the Boers, or Dutch
QUXSTIONB ON THB MAP OF AFBIOA. 168
farmers, are the principal colonists, but the greater
part of the inhabitants are the native Eaflrs.*
We have no room to speak of the various Kafir
kingdoms in the interior of South Africa, nor of the
islands off the coast, not even of the small British
island of St. Helena.
duestions on the Hap of Africa.
1. What sea divides Africa from Europe ?
2. Name four African coontriea which hare coasts upon this sea.
3. A range of mountains on the north-west coast which crosses
two of these countries P
4. Name the great desert which lies to the south of these northern
5. What large rirer flows into the Gulf of Guinea ?
6. How are various parts of the Guinea coast named ?
7. Name three States in the south part oi this western shoulder
8. What general name is given to the lands south of the Sahara ?
9. Name a lake in Sudan.
10. Name a great western river below Sudan which appears to
begin in a distant lake.
11. Name five large lakes in the eastern half of the continent
12. What large river flows into the Mozambique Channel, to the
south of these lakes?
13. What great northward-flowing river appears to begin in the
Victoria Nyanza Lake?
14. Through what countries does this river flow? What sea
washes their eastern coast ? What country in Asia is on the further
side of this sea?
15. What tributary of the Nile begins in the mountains of
16. What country, watered by the Nile, has coasts upon two
17. How is the Bed Sea connected with the Mediterranean ?
18. By what gulf must vessels leave the Bed Sea ?
* From the article on Atbioa in *The London Geography,' by
ELeith Johnston, F.B.G.S.
164 THE KEW WORLD.
19. What large ooantry lies to the south of this gnlf ?
20. What is the eastern coast of Africa called ? Name a cape
on this coast ; two bays ; a large island in the Indian Ocean.
21. Name half-a-<lozen African islands, or gronps of islands, in
22. Any capes or bays on the western coast
28. At what point do Africa and Europe nearly join? What
strait separates them?
24. Name a large desert in Southern Africa south of the
25. What country occupies the southern point of Africa? A
smaller country to the north-east of this?
26. What river bounds Gape Colony on the north ?
' 27. What mountain range runs near the east coast of this south
end of Africa ?
28. What famous cape is at the south-west comer?
29. How do the mountains of Africa lie, in the interior, or near
the coast ?
SO. State roughly the length and breadth of Africa at the longest
and broadest parts.
THE NEW WORLD.
The three continents which we have spoken of are
known as the Old World. When this Old World was
already very old, when men had lived in it for fifteen
centuries believing it to be the whole of our habitable
earth, a great joy was granted to a faithful man.
To this man, Christopher Columbus by name, it was
given to discover a new world — a new continent
really, but so vast, so beautiful, so filled with all
manner of riches, and so unlike the world they
already knew, that men loved to speak of it as the
lipE MXW WORLD. 165
CSolumbuSy who was a native of Genoa in Italy,
and whose business it was to make maps and charts,
became convinced that the earth was a sphere.
That being so, he thought that if after leaving the
Mediterranean he continued to sail to the west, he
must at last come to China, unless there were some
undiscovered land between.
He thought of this night and day, and laid his
plans with great care; but, alas! he was a poor
man, and ships, money, and men were wanted before
he could work out these bold projects. He could
get no help in his own country, bo he went to Spain,
and after much entreaty Isabella, the queen, granted
him three ships, to do what it was thought had never
been done before, to sail right across the perilous
ocean without knowing what he should come to.
His men grew mutinous, for they had to fisu^e
many terrors on the way; but Columbus kept up
heart and hope, and after many a weary watch
land was at last sighted; land that no man from
the Old World had ever gazed upon. " We praise
Thee, God," rang out from them all, but they
little knew, and Columbus himself never knew, for
how much they were praising God; they little
dreamed how vast were the continents of the
western hemisphere which they had lighted upon.
Wild were the rejoicings in Spain, and great was
the honour with which Columbus was received ; and
very memorable has he made that year of our Lord,
fourteen hundred and ninety-two.
Many followed where Columbus had led the way ;
other nations of Europe sent men to explore this.
166 VHS KXW WOBLIV
wondrous new world, and they returned full of its
marvels. Perhaps at every fireside of our own
Britain strange tales, better than fairy lore, were
told of these lands of the west — of their mighty
riverSy so wide and full that they looked like great
seae rolling into the ocean ; of forests bigger than any
known country, whose trees were gay with flaming
flowers ; of the tiny humming-bird, like a sparkling
jewel, hiding itself in these huge blossoms ; of other
birds of gorgeous plumage, the parrot* and toucan ;
of the huge condor, the largest of all flying birds.
Fearsome tales, too, of the alligator in the great
rivers, the boa-constrictor, and the rattlesnake.
Tales of strange beasts which carry their young in
natural bags or pouches; of marvellous monkeys,
which make use of their tails by which to swing
themselves from tree to tree. But they told of no
beasts so large, nor indeed so handsome, as those of
the Old World.
Tales were told, too, of rich cities with splendid
palaces and many gold and silver ornaments; of
the gentle, kindly people of these cities, who wel-
comed the strangers lovingly, made feasts for them,
and gave them rich presents. And then came dark
tales of how these gentle people were cruelly slain,
and their riches and cities taken by their strange
guests. Englishmen were glad then, and are glad
now, that this shameftd deed was not done by
countrymen of theirs.
The continents came to be called America, North
and South, after a man who sailed with Columbus,
and who wrote a book about what he had seen.
WE KSW WOBLD. 167
By degrees people came not only to see but to
settle. Many Portuguese and Spaniards settled in
South America, and in that part of North America
which is about the Gulf of Mexico, one of the two
oountries where the people were so treacherously
The French and the Dutch eame to North
America; and, by-and-by, the English, in such
numbers that now an English-speaking people fills
nearly the whole of North America^ excepting
Mexico, the part settled at first by Spain.
What became of the native people ? There were
not a great many of them, and only in two countries
did they dwell much in cities. Most of them liyed
by hunting; and there was room enough for the
red men as well as for the white settlers.
They are generally well-made people, with reddish-
brotm skins, straight features, and sikraight hair, and
they have very keen sight and scent. They do not
like work, and do not like to live in cities; therefore
they do not readily become civilised, and are gradu-
ally dying off.
Thofse at the south point of South America are
perhaps the tallest people in the world, while the
aborigines on the Arctic shores, a different race, are
very short and fat, and live chiefly upon fish«
168. irOBTH' AMXBIOA.
The G-reat Western Continent reaches nearly from
pole to pole, a length of 9000 miles; it is four
times as large as Europe, and is second only to
Asia, which is the largest of the contin^its.
The longest range of lofty mountains in the world
runs through the two Americas, passing through the
isthmus which joins them. Throughout its length
this range keeps near the Pacific coast, thus giving
a long slope towards the Atlantic, down which flow
the mightiest rivers in the world.
In North America the principal range is known
as the Bocky Mountains. Mount Hooker, the highest
summit (16,760 feet), is in the north ; but nearly in
the centre of the range are twenty-five peaks, sil of
which are as high as the loftiest summits of the
Alps. On the coast is another great mountain
chain, the Ooast Bange of the Pacific; Mount St.
Elias (14,970 feet), which is a huge volcano, and
Mount Fairweather, both in the north and near the
coast, are the two highest points. Between these
two long mountain ranges are high tablelands.
Centi^ America is filled with high tablelands,
from which many volcanic cones rise ; of these Popo-
catepetl (17,784 feet) and the Peak of Orizaba
(17,879 feet), on the Mexican tableland, are the
highest summits of North America.
Great lowlands fill the centre of North America,
reaching &om the Arctic shores to the Gulf of
Stanford's Gttgi Estabf
Mexico. Towards the eastern coast the contment
again rises into the rather low ADeghany Mountains.
The great island of Greenland, lying to the north-
east of the mainland of America^ is about eight times
the size of Great Britain, and is coyered with one
vast field of ice, which reaches from sea to sea.
Some Eskimos and a few Danish settlers make
their homes here for the sake of the sealskins and
whale oil with which they trade.
From the Arctic shores to about the fiftieth parallel
a wide and dreary British territory stretches, which
is known as the Dominion of Canada ; part of the
southern boundary of this territory is formed by
the river St. Lawrence and its chain of mighty
South of the lakes, and reaching to the northern
shore of the Gulf of Mexico, and right across the con-
tinent fiN)m ocean to ocean, we find the United States
of North America, a very great country, rich and
powerful, with many towns and people. These people
speak the English language, and the country once
belonged to Britain, but now it is a Bepublic, formed
of many States united under one government. New
York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis»
and N«w Orleans are some of the principal towns.
The climate in the Southern States is warm, and
much rice, sugar, and cotton are grown; a great
deal of the cotton grown here is made into calico
in the English factories. There is a sad history
connected with the cotton and sugar plantations;
white people are not able to do the necessary field
work under the hot sun of these States, so for many
VOBTH AMXBiaA* 171
years it was the custom to bring shiploads of negroes
from Africa, and set them to work in the fields as
slaves. These poor slaves were often cruelly used ;
they were beaten with thongs to make them work,
and children were sold away from their mothers,
and wives from their husband& But now, happily,
there are no longer slaves in America ; a great war
recently put an end to so sad a state of things ; the
blacks still do the work that white men are not fit
for, but they are tree, and work for wages like other
Through the low central plain of North America
flows the mighty Mississippi, the *' Father of Waters/'
with its tributary the Missouri, as great as itself; it
receives many other large tributaries, and only one
other river in the world bears such a flood of water
to the ocean.
On either side of the Mississippi stretch the wide,
rolling jprames, or meadows, of North America.
They are very level, and are covered with tall
grass and brilliant wild^flowers, but are without
trees. When cultivated, these prairies yield com
crops in the Northern States, and rice, cotton, sugar,
oranges, and other products of warm lands in the
States to the south.
To the south of the United States is Mexico, which
lies almost entirely upon a high tableland, and there-
fore has a pleasant climate, though it is in such
warm latitudes. It has huge volcanoes, and moun*
tains rich in silver and gold. The capital city is
Mexico, which has a fine cathedral, and as many as
eighty churches. This is one of the countries where
172 THB WSST INDIES.
the Spaniards found cities and wealth, of which they
robhed the gentle and civilised people..
Central America, the curiously shaped narrow part
between the two continents, is also a tableland ; and
tiiroagh the narrow neck of Panama a low range of
hills runs, to rise presently into mighty, snow-capped
mountains, many of them volcanoes. There ' are
works on foot for making a canal through the isthmus
of Panama, thus to connect the two oceans.
One little bit of Central America belongs to«
Britain, namely, British Hondubas, or. Belize, on
the Gulf of Honduras ; it is valuable for the maho-
gany and logwood of its forests, which are floated
down by the rivers to the sea and shipped in large
THE WEST INDIES.
The West India Islands form a long archipelago
(or sea of islands), that reaches in a curve from
between Florida and Yucatan round to the coast
of South America. The Spanish island of Cuba is
the largest and most important of these; Hayti,
where there is a negro republic, and Puerto Bico,
also a Spanish island, and Jamaica, a British island^
are the next in importance of the West Indies.
Jamaica has two or three large towns, and exports
rum, molasses, allspice, coffee, dye-woods, and ma-
hogany. TsmiDAD, where there are pitch lakes,
Babbados, Antigua, and Dominica are also rather
important islands belonging to the British. The
TEH DOMDraOK 07 CANADA. 178
Bermudas and Bahahas also belong to Britain;
each of these groups consists of several hundreds of
low-lying coral islands, but only a few are inhabited ;
most of them are mere coral reefs and rocks.
Though almost all the islands lie within the torrid
zone, the climate of the West Indies is made plea-
santly cool by the surrounding seas. The northern
islands have a rainy season during the summer
months; Jamaica and the southern isles have two
rainy seasons. Yellow feyer is the scourge of the
coasts of the islands during the rain, and they are
exposed to fearful hurricanes.
The warm climate and the plentiful rains make
the West Indies well suited to the growth of sugar-
cane, tobacco, and tropical fruits. Sugar, rum, and
molasses; cotton, coffee, and cacao; indigo and dyes;
spices, oranges, bananas, pineapples and many other
fruits, are exported.
THE DOMINION OP CANADA.
The wide " Dominion of Canada," which belongs to
the British Grown, stretches across the continent of
North America, from ocean to ocean, and from the
United States on the south to the shores of the
Arctic. The north-west comer, the peninsula of
Alaska, belongs to the United States ; the icy and
desolate peninsula of Greenland belongs' to Den-
mark ; the rest of the continent north of the 49th
parallel is under British rule.
174 THE vommos ov oana]>a.
Nowhere will you find a straighter botmdary line
than that between the ^'Dominion" and the weertem
United States. For several hundred miles a cutting
thirty feet wide is made through the forests, and an
iron pillar, standing four feet from the ground and
painted white, is placed at the end of eyery mile.
The mighty chain of lakes, whose waters are carried
away by the river St. Lawrence, forms part of the
southern boundary. Lake Superior is the largest
fresh-water lake in the world ; and Michigan, Huron,
Erie, and Ontario are all so large that they are like
inland seas, and, like the sea, are subject to storms
so violent that great waves like ocean breakers dash
against the shores.
All the important towns of the Dominion lie
either on the shores of the lakes or on the lower
course of the river, for this chain of lakes united by
rivers forms the highway by which trade with the
forest lands of the north and west is carried on.
The boats used in this traffic are exceedingly
light, because, in the course of a voyage westward,
it is often necessary to carry both boat and cargo
over a portage^ the name given to the land passage
across which everything must be ea/nried.
It is necessary for the vayagefwrs thus to carry
their boats, because there are many rapids and
water£alls in this great waterway. Perhaps a river
arrives in its course at a lake which lies much lower
than itself. Its waters must needs enter the lake,
so down they pour in a great waterfall, it may be, a
hundred feet deep.
When the voyageurs approach these dangerous
THi Doumov OT oakasa: 175
cataracts they draw their boats to' land, and carry
them orer a portage, until Bmooth waters are
The most &moiu waterfalls in the world are in
the rirer Niag;ara, which connects Idtkes Erie and
Ontario. The deep boomiDg soood of the waters
may be heard at a distance oi two or three milea
We say falls, because there are two, divided by (roat
Island, which rises in the midst of the foaming river.
That on the Canadian side of the river is called the
Horseshoe Fall on account of its shape, and is con-
sidered the more beantiful of the two.
During the bright, hot Canadian sammer, rivets
and lakes are lively with the beat of many oaxg and
with the songs of the boatmen, whose " voices ^eep
tane as their oars keep time." Sometimes the boats
go in companies called brigades, which look gay
enough as they start on their voyage, hundreds of
wiles long, to some distant western staticm, from
176 TBI DOMDraOK OT OAKADA,
which they will bring back boat-loads of fats to be
shipped to Europe.
ill this ends when winter sets in. For fiye months
in the year the riyer above the town of Quebec is
frozen, and the sleigh with its merry bells is then
the usual means of trayelling.
The moment the snow falls, wheeled carriages
and carts giye place to sleighs. ^' These beautiful
vehicles are mounted on runners, or large skates, and
slide yery smoothly and easily oyer the snow. They
are usually drawn by one horse, the harness and
trappings of which are covered with small round
bells, which make a very pleasing, cheerful, tinkling
music on the Canadian roads."* Indeed, winter is a
joyous time amongst the Canadians. The cold is
intense, but the air is clear, the sun is bright, the
roads are crisp, and every one who can wraps up in
fius and turns out for a merry sleigh ride. Here is
a description of a Canadian scene in winter : —
''From the hill on which we stood, the whole valley,
of many miles in extent, was visible. It was per-
fectly level, and covered from end to end with
thousands of little hamlets and several churches,
with here and there a few small patches of forest.
Seyeral small vessels lay embedded in ice at the
mouth of the riyer, beyond which rolled the dark,
ice-laden waves of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The
whole valley teemed with human life. Hundreds of
Canadians in their graceful sleighs flew oyer the
roads, and the air was filled with the faint sound of
* < Hndflon Bay.' B. M. Ballantyne.
THE DOBmnON or CANADA. 177
Such a scene as this could only belong to Canada
Proper, that is, to the two provinces of Quebec and
Ontario. Quebec lies on the lower course of the
river St. Lawrence, and Ontario higher up, on the
northern shores of the lakes. These provinces were,
until lately, called Upper and Lower Canada, and
they are almost the only part of the wide " Dominion "
where there are towns and many people.
This part of America was visited, in the first place,
by a French voyager named Jacques Cartier, who
found the country peopled by Indians who were
friendly and kind to the strangers. Here and
there were groups of wigwams — Indian huts — ^and
these the Indians called KancUa, which means village,
or place of huts ; but the Frenchmen took this word
for the name of the country, which has ever since
been called Canada. Shortly after, other Frenchmen
came, who took the country from the kindly Indians
and settled themselves in the part now known as
Quebec. These French settlers built Montreal,
Niagara, and other towns ; and, on the top of the
Heights of Abraham, which are steep as a wall
towards the river, they built the strong town of
Quebec. This they defended with many guns placed
on the hill slopes, and in the walls and forts, until
Quebec became almost as strong and as difficult to
attack as the fortress of Gibraltar.
But war broke out between Englemd and France,
and an English army was sent, under the command
of the young General Wolfe, to attack Quebec. He
did not attempt to lead his men up the heights
under the French guns by daylight, but chose a
178 THB DOMINIOK OF OAKADA.
dark night for the attack. Then, with muffled oars,
the English rowed silently past the town, landed
higher up the river, climbed up to Quebec from
behind, and were in the enemy's camp before the
alarm had been raised. The French were brave,
and a fierce battle followed, in which General Wolfe
fell — ^not, however, before he knew that the French
were defeated, and that Quebec was in the hands of
his men ; then he said, ** I die content."
Since this victory (1763) Canada has remained in
the hands of the English. The people of the pro-
vince of Quebec are descended, for the most part,
from the early French settlers. They are called
habitanSf and are a gay and warm-hearted people,
who dislike changes, and care only to live as did
their fathers before them. Most of them are farmers,
and their farms are long and narrow, so that the
farm buildings lie on the bank of the St. Lawrence,
and the fields stretch away fiar to the north. In the
summer many of the men are employed as voyagevrs^
that is, they row the boats engaged in the fur trade.
Quebec and Montreal are the chief towns. Montreal
is a large and handsome city, with fine shops, baths,
hotels, and public buildings. Quebec is beautifully
placed ; it consists of a lower and upper town, and
round the upper town are walls and fortifications.
The streets are narrow and even steeper 'than those
of Edinburgh, and the houses are high. The best
shops and some of the houses of the rich people are
in the upper town.
Ontario, formerly Upper Canada, is more fertile
than Quebec, and is chiefly peopled by English
THB DOMINION OF CANADA. 179
settlers, many of whom are farmers, as in the pro-
vince of Quebec. The towns are new for the most
part, and the streets are broad and straight and
rather stiff-looking. The chief town of the province
is Toronto, a large and busy city, with long streets,
many shops, and busy wharves. It ii one of the
wonders of the West, because, unlike the slow-
growing cities of the Old World, it has reached its
present importance within a century. Ottawa is
also an important town, because it is now the seat of
Government for the Dominion of Canada.
THE DOMINION OP CANADA.
New Brunswick — where there are forests of huge
pine, and where the cutting of timber and the
building of ships are the chief occupations — and
Nova Scotia are also included in the Dominion.
Fishing is the principal business of the latter pro-
vince, and great quantities of dried fish are sent to
The North-West Territory is the name now
given to nearly all the rest of British North America.
This country used to be called the Hudson Bay
Company Territory. Hendrick Hudson discovered
the bay from which this vast tract was named. He
hoped to carry his discoveries further, but his crew
mutinied, and put him into a little boat, together
180 THB DOMINIOM OT OANADA.
with eight sick seamen, provided only with a little
meal, a musket, and an iron pot ; and then they left
him to perish in the bay named after himself.
In the year 1669 a company was formed in London
for the purpose of carrying on the far trade in the
regions round Hudson Bay. This company had
the sole right of trading in all the country watered
by rivers flo¥nng into this bay, and of building forU
here and there for the protection of their trade.
This vast tract is now part of the Dominion, but the
fur trade is carried on as before.
"Imagine an immense extent of country many
hundred miles broad and many hundred miles long,
covered with dense forests, great lakes, broad rivers,
wide prairies, swamps, and mighty mountains, where
the axe of civilised man has never been, and where
roving hordes of Bed Indians emd myriads of wild
animals are the only tenants. Imagine, amid this
wilderness, a number of smaU squares, each enclos-
ing half a dozen wooden houses and about a dozen
men, and between each of these establishments a
space of forest varying from fifty to three hundred
miles in length, and you will have a pretty correct
idea of tiie Hudson Bay Company's Territories,
and of the number of and distance between their
The name of fort is giyen to all these stations,
though very few of them are fortified.
The most valuable of the furs taken- in this region
is that of the iZoeA; /(m;, and badger skins, beaver
skins, deer, bear, wolf, otter, and seal skins, as wdl
as whale oil, dried and salted fish, fsathers a&d
THB DOUINION OF CANADA. 181
quills, are among the stock the Indians bring to the
forts for sale.
The natives visit the forts of the white men twice
a year— once in October, when they bring in the
prodace of their automn hunts ; and again in March,
when they come in with that of the great winter
After the furs are collected in spring at all the
different outposts, they are packed in bales and sent
by means of boats and canoes to the three chief
depots on the sea-coast, namely, Fort Vancouver, at
the mouth of the Columbia Biver, on the shores of
the Pacific; York Port, on the shores of Hudson Bay ;
and Moose Factory, on the shores of James Bay,
whence the bales are sent in the Company's ships to
England. The whole country in summer is lively
with the passing of brigades of boats laden with furs ;
the still waters of the lakes and rivers are rippled by
the paddle and the oar ; and the echoes are awakened
by the merry voice and tuneful song of the hardy
The aborigines (that is, the native inhabitants) of
North America belong to the race of people known
as Bed Indians. They consist of a great number of
nations or tribes, some of which bear a bitter hatred
to certain other tribes. Among these nations are
the Crees, Stone Indians, Blackfeet, Chipewyans,
Slave Indians, Crows, Flatheads, &o. Of these, the
Crees are the quietest; they inhabit the woody
country surrounding Hudson Bay, dwell in tents,
never go to war, and spend their time in trapping,
* * Hudson Bay/— B. M. BoUantyna
182 THE iKtunnoN or
shootiDg, and fishing. The other tribes named
above inliabit the vast plains and forests in the
interior, on the east and west of the Bocky Moon-
tains, and live chiefiy by t)ie produce of the chase.
The Indian walks with a long and stately stride,
and his black eyes are restless from the habit he has
acquired of always looking about in the forest in
quest of game. His coarse black hair bangs in
matted locks abont his bead, and only in the hard
winter does he wear any head-covering. Most of
the men have now learned from the English to near
a coarse bine-striped cotton shirt, and a sort of loose
coat of grey cloth in summer, which they change for
a coat of deerskin in the winter. Their wives make
them beautirul lepgins, and mocassins for their feet of
this same skin, ornamented with beads and dyed por-
cupine quills. Summer or winter, they seldom go out
THB DOMINION OF CANADA. 188
without a blanket over their shoulders. Nothing
can be drearier than the long night marches of the
Indians over their frozen plains in search of game.
North of the 60th parallel the ground is frozen
throughout nearly the whole year.
The province called British Columbia, which
lies to the west of the Rocky Mountains, contains
far more people than the whole of the wide fur-
hunting territory. Gold-diggers have flocked there
in great numbers, because gold has been discovered
quite lately in the banks of the Eraser River, which
flows through the province. The pleasant Van-
couver Island which lies off the coast forms part of
British OolumbiiEi. Its climate is something like
that of the British Isles.
The large island of Newfoundland is the only
part of British North America which is not included
in the " Dominion of Canada." It is full of barren
mountains and lakes, and has a long, cold winter,
but the summer is dry and very hot. Little is
known of the interior, and all the settlements are on
the coast. In one of the harbours, Heart's Content
Bay, is the American end of the Atlantic cables,
which cross the ocean from Irelemd. The great
business of the settlers is the catching, curing, and
sending away of cod. The town of St. John, the
capital, is full of the smell of this fish ; the ships
in the harbour are laden with cod which they will
carry all over the world ; and sheds in which the fish
are dried surround the harbour. There is no such
cod fishery in the world as off the banks, which lie
under water to the south of the island. The warm
184 QUESTIONS OK THE MAP OV KOBTH AMEBIOA.
waters of the Gulf Stream wash these banks, and
the fish swarm into the warm, pleasant shelter they
Questions on the BCap of North America.
1. What gteoX raoge of mountains runs through the whole length
of North America ? Name two mountains in this range.
2. Name the range which runs parallel with the Booky Moon-
tains, but nearer the coast. Two mountains in this range.
3. Name a country between these ranges which belongs to
4. What gulf nearly diyides the peninsula of California from the
5. What peninsula forms the north-west comer of North America ?
By what strait is America here divided from Asia ?
6. What name is given to the whole of the northern part of North
America, excepting this peninsula ?
7. Name five lakes which form part of the southern boundary of
the Dominion of Canada. What large rivers are they connected
8. Entering the estuary of this river, between the island of New-
foundland and the peninsula of Nova Scotia, what land have we on
our right ? As we sail up the lakes, what land is on our right ?
9. What great bay breaks into the Dominion of Canada ?
10. In what cape does Greenland end ? What European island
lies off its eastern coc^t?
11. What waters bound Greenland on the east ? On the west ?
12. By what three oceans is North America washed ? Name any
Islands in the Arctic.
13. Name any lakes in British North America which are not in
the great chain of lakes belongiog to the St. Lawrence ?
14. What island lies off the west coast near where the boundary
line of the *^ Dominion " ends ?
15.' What great republic occupies the centre of the continent,
from ocean to ocean ?
16. What mighty river drains the United States? Where do
its tributaries rise ? Name the longest of these. Name any others
that are marked on the map. Into what gulf does this river empty
17. Name three cities in the United States.
SOUTH AMEBIOA. 185
18. What mountain-chain is there to the east of the Mississippi
19. Name the southern country of North America.
20. What mountain-ranges does Mexico lie between? Name a
mountain in this country.
21. What great gulf here breaks into the land?
22. Name the two peninsulas which partly enclose this gulf, on
the north and the south.
23. What is that part of the continent called which lies between
North and South America ?
24. What name is giyen to the land in the narrowest part ?
25. What two oceans would be united by a canal cut through this
26. What islands partly shut in the Caribbean Sea? Name those
marked on the map, in the order of their size.
The great western mountain range is called the Andes
in South America. Beginning at the north coast,
these mountains traverse the republic of Colombia
in three great ridges, until they reach the equator.
There, in Ecuador, the country of the equator, they
draw together, and its capital city, Quito, stands
upon the tableland thus formed, at a height of
about 9500 feet above the sea; all round this city
the snow-clad Andes form a great square. Though
in the hottest region of the earth, the city lies so
high that it is pleasantly cool, and about it are
volcanoes which every now and then throw out
flames that rise fully half a mile into the air.
Among this bodyguard of mighty mountains are
Scale of Miles.
Stanford's Ctograpki Esia^\
SOUTH AMBBIOA. 187
Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and Antisana, all nearly
20,000 feet in height.
Further south, the Andes divide again into two
chains, enclosing the high tablelands of Peru and
Bolivia ; thence to the south thej form a single chain,
in which is Aconcagua, the highest of the Andes.
Before describing the great central plain, we must
notice two countries on the north coast — Venezuela,
or " little Venice," which is oddly named, as it is a
country twice as large as France ; and Guiana, which
is interesting to us, as part of it is British Guiana,
where much sugar is grown.
South America, as well as the northern continent,
has mountains on its eastern side besides the great
western range, and between these mountain ranges,
from the north to the south of the continent,
stretches an immense plain.
This plain has three great rivers flowing through
it, and the pl^in of each of the rivers has a different
The plains of the northern river, the Orinoco,
near 5°-N. lat., are called Savannahs, In the dry
season they are all parched up ; there is not a green
thing to be seen, hardly a living creature ; the very
ground opens in great dry cracks. The rains come,
the river overflows ; the plain is covered all at once
with thick turf which presently grows tall like the
prairie grass, and live things swarm in the air and on
Just on the equator flows out the Amazon, the
mightiest of all the rivers, which, gathering many
great tributaries as it goes, flows right across the
188 sotTFH amehoa.
oontinent from the monntains on the west. This
river passes in its lower course through the Selvaa,
or forest plains, where the trees grow thick, and the
forests are filled with underwood, and are bright with
flowers, both upon the trees and upon the creeping
plants which twine among them ; where the mother
monkeys play with their young ones, and where are
the most beautiful birds, and beetles, and butter-
flies to be seen in the world.
This river flows through Peru and Brazil, two
large countries which are famous for the gold and
silver and diamonds found in their mountains and
washed from the beds of their rivers.
It was the gentle, hospitable people of Peru who
met with so cruel a fate from the Spaniards and
The plains of the third great river, which is in-
deed two rivers, the Parana and the Paraguay, flow-
ing into the Q^uary of the La Plata, are called
Pampas. The part between 30° and 40° S. is very
remarkable : for nine months in the year, this whole
district, right away to the mountains, is so over-
grown with thistles, higher than the tallest man,
that it is impossible to pass through it.
Other parts of the Pampas are covered with coarse
grass, amongst which roam great herds of wild horses
and cattle. The Gauchos, as the dwellers on the
Pampas are called, capture these by means of a
lasso, which is a long leather strap, more than
twenty feet long, with a running noose at the end.
The Gaucho gallops over the plain, and casts this
noose over the head of the horse he wishes to capture.
QUESTIONS OK THB MAP OF SOUTH AMEBIOA. 189
On the west of the river is La Plata, which is
named after the estuary. ^ Bio de la Plata " means
river of silver, as much silver is washed from its
bed. Two States on the east are named Paraguay
and Uruguay, after the two rivers which form the
Patagonia, the southern country, is also a plain ;
for the most part stony and barren, and very cold in
the soutL It is inhabited by red men only, who
live by hunting.
Questions on the Uap of South America.
1. Between what oceans does South Amerioa lie ?
2. What sea washes its north-western coasts ?
3. By what isthmus is this continent joined to Central America ?
4. Name four countries bordering the north-west coast.
5. What rivers drain the north-west comer of the continent ?
6. What immense river crosses the country further south ? Kame
three of its tributaries.
7. What great mountain chains run through the length of Sontii
8. Name three countries which lie more or less between the
parallel chains of the Andes.
9. Name a mountain in Chili.
10. Name a lake in Peru.
11. What large country occupies the valley of the Amazons ?
12. Name two towns in Brazil.
13. Are there any mountains in South America besides the
Andes ? What country are they in ?
14. Name two rivers which flow between these eastern mountain
15. What great river enters the ocean to the south of Brazil ?
16. Name the three States drained by it.
17. What name is given to the district west of this river ?
18. What is the most soiithem State of the continent called ?
19. In what does it end ? What strait divides this island from
20. What cape forms the southern point of the Island?
190 THB GBEAT SOUTH LAND.
21. Name any other capes on the coast of South America.
22. What islands lie to the north-east of Cape Horn ?
23. Name half-a-dozen important towns in South America, and
say to what State each belongs.
24. What are the three great rivers of South America ? In what
direction do they all flow ?
25. Name the countries of South America in the order of their
26. About how long is South America? How broad at the
THE GREAT SOUTH LAND.
The excitement and joy caused by the discovery of
America led other navigators to imagine they also
might be happy enoagh to find a new continent.
They consalted such maps of the world as had
then been made, and saw that there was nothing
but ocean marked to the south and east of Asia.
As there was so much known land in the northern
hemisphere, it seemed probable that a great south
land might lie somewhere in these waters, and many
went in search of such a continent One of these,
a Portuguese, it is supposed, was successful. He dis-
covered the great south land which was named
But Australia did not prove so rich and inviting
a land as America, and many years passed before
settlers made their homes there. Indeed, for a long
time it was only used as a place of punishment for
At last people found out that they might grow
e of Miles.
192 THE OBBAT BOUTH LAND.
rich by rearing sheep in Australia^ to supply the
English mills with wool ; and later still it was dis-
covered that in certain places, lamps, or nuggets, of
gold might be found by lacky diggers.
Shiploads of emigrants from England and other
countries are now carried over the ocean every year
to settle in Australia. Most of these go to the
south-east corner, which you will see is the only
part of the map thickly marked with towns.
The Murray is the only large river in the whole
of Aastralia, and even this sometimes dries up and
becomes a chain of stagnant ponds ; its large tribu-
tary, the Darling, however, flows constantly ; it
drains the south-east of the island. Mountains,
with difficult passes, run close to the east and south-
east coasts. In other parts, the coast is rock-bound,
and there are few large openings. For these, and
other reasons, it is very difficult to penetrate into
The whole island belongs to England, and when
the emigrant lands at Sydney he might think he
was in an English town. He hears none but
English voices, sees English faces, and English-
looking houses and streets. But outside the town
he may find himself among great groves of orange
trees laden with golden fruit; or may see peaches
growing in such quantities that they are given to
Towards the Blue Mountains, he comes upon
forests of dull evergreen, or rather, ever grey, trees,
whose narrow leaves turn edgewise to the sun, and
cast but little shade. Now and then the dulness is
THX 0B1AT SOUTH LAND.
enlivened by flocks of cbattering parroqaets and
other biida of gorgeoos plumage, crimson,, green,
On the mountain elopes, be may come across the
kangaroo, which bears ita yoong in a pouch, and
cannot walk or mn, bat^gots oyer the ground with a
He may chance on a colony of diggers, too, for
gold is to be found all along these eastern monn-
tains, and in the beds of the little rivers which flow
On the inland slopes of the mountains are great
pastures of grass (which grows in tofts, showing the
earth between), with countless flocks of sheep upon
them. These wide pastures, dotted with many
flocks, stretch tat into the interior, and as their
194 THE 6BEAT SOUTH LAND.
flocks increase, the fieurmers move further and farther
The climate of Australia does better for rearing
sheep than for growing com. There are long
seasons of drought when no rain falls, and then,
in the wet season, sheets of water come down all
at once until the streets of the towns look like
As Australia is in the southern hemisphere, the
seasons there are just the reverse of our own. Our
summer is their winter, the wet season of Australia,
and their Christmas Day comes in bright summer
weather when it is nearly too hot to be out of doors ;
at least, it would be too hot anywhere else, but in
Australia the heat is generally pleasant.
Many travellers have laboured to explore the in-
terior of Australia, and some of these have been lost.
Those who have returned bring word that there is a
good deal of sandy desert and a good deal of stony
desert in the interior, but among these wastes are
patches of pasture land.
The three settlements on the east, New South
Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, are all busy and
prosperous; their chief towns, Sydney, Melbourne,
and Brisbane, have wide, straight streets and hand-
some public buildings, and are in every way fine
Much of South Australia is unexplored, but there
is little doubt that by far the larger part of it is
occupied by dry, bare steppes. The most valuable
part of this colony lies along the Flinders range of
mountains, which extends from the eastern side of
THB ORBAT SOUTH LAND. 195
Spencer Gulf northwards towards the salt lakes
Torrens and Eyre. These hills contain gold, silyer,
and copper ; along their slopes, wheat, the yine, and
other fruits are cultivated ; and ¥dde pasture lands
surround this hill country. Adelaide is the capital
city. Sheep are reared in Western Australia, but
of this part oi the continent but little is yet known.
Much of the rest of Australia is a wilderness,
where the bare soil is encrusted with salt, and often
covered with impenetrable thickets of a kind of
prickly acacia; the little water channels or ^* creeks''
dry up in the summer, and the animals search for
standing pools. These deserts are not even in-
habited by the aborigines, who are a miserable race
of savages, short and ugly, and belonging to the
tribes called Oceanic Negroes ; they wear no clothes,
do not hunt, or fish, or till the ground, but eat dis-
'gusting food — worms, grubs, lizards, whatever they
can find. There are not many of these wretched
people, and they are dying out, for they do not seem
able to learn the ways of civilised men.
The pleasant island of Tasmania lies off the south-
east comer of Australia, from which it is divided by
Bass Strait. Its climate is like that of England,
and where the island is cultivated, its villages and
orchards and hedged fields remind one of the
" mother country." The people are of British origin.
196 HEW ZKALAHD.
At a distance of about 1200 miles sonth-east of the
mainland of Australia lie the islands of New Zealand.
They are nearly at the antipodes of our island of
Great Britain, that is, a line drawn through the
centre of the globe from England would come out
near them on the other side of the world. The
group consists of two large islands, a northern and a
southern, and of several smaller ones. The extent
of the islands together ia somewhat less than that of
the United Kingdom.
Both islands are mountainous, and both have
many rivers and. lakes; the climate is like that of
the British Isles. Forests of lofty pines and other
evergreen trees, tree ferns and vegetation matted
together by the rope-like smUax, occupy a large
share of North, and some parts of South Island.
Other parts are overgrown with ferns breast high,
and others are well adapted for pasture.
Though New Zealand has no native quadrupeds,
the plains of South Island are now so well stocked
with sheep that wool has become one of the chief
exports of the colony. The northern and eastern
districts of South Mand are those best fitted for
agriculture, and here wheat, oats, and barley are
New Zealand is very rich in minerals; in both
islands gold-digging is carried on, and iron and coal
are also found in South Island.
When these islands were first discovered by
Captain Cook, they were peopled by the Maories,
by far the most handsome and intelligent race in
all this oceanic region. A long-continued war was
carried on during the years in which the British
took possession of and settled in these islands, and
the brave Maories ftre now greatly reduced in
numbers ; those who are left live peaceably in North
Island chiefly, but the colonists are six or seven
times as numerous. The chief towns are Welling-
ton, Auckland, and Dunedin. The islands belong to
England and are ruled by a British Governor.
The name Polynesia, or "many islands," is given
to the numerous small islands and groups of islets
in the Pacific. Some of these are mountainous,
and these have usually been upheaved from the
bottom of the sea; that is, they are of volcanic
formation, and many of them still contain active
volcanoes which belch out flame, ashes, and molten
lava. The Society Isles in the centre of the South
Pacific are volcanic. Tahiti, the largest of this
group, is famous for its beautiful mountains, valleys,
The Sandwich Islands, by far the most important
to the north of the equator, are also volcanic There
are eight larger islands in the group, and in Hawaii,
which is the largest island in mid-ocean, there are
large volcanoes, and the crater (or opening) of one
of these is like a lake of fire. The natives of the
Sandwicli IslaadB hare a king or queen of their own,
and -are for the moet part ChriatianB. Honolalu,
their capital cit;, is qnite a handsome town.
The low islands of the Pacific have a very
curious history ; in this ooean, a little animal called
the conJ-polTp makes for itself a hard stony
skeleton ont of the tiny atoms of lime which it
draws from the sea-water. As millions of these
polype grow together, one stony skeleton branching
oQt of another, they form great reefs of solid rock
which sometimes appear above the water as islands,
and sometimes barely rise to the water's edge. This
is the case in the Great Barrier Beef of Anstralia, on
which the swell of the ocean breaks continually, form-
ing a long line of white foam, while the sea within
the barrier is calm and still. This reef, which skirts
QUBSTI0N8 OK THS MAP 07 AUSTRALIA. 199
the north-eskstern coast for a length of more than
1200 miles, is the longest coral belt in the world.
Bat the coral islands are generally round, consisting
of a low reef in the form of a ring, and, in the
centre, a blue lagoon, or lake of salt water, con-
nected with the ocean by one or two openings. The
reef is generally fringed with palm trees, and the
whole island is more loyely than you can imagine.
Such islands are called atolb.
But all the islands of Polynesia are beautiful;
they lie within the torrid zone, and receiye much
moisture from the ocean, so are green and fertile
and full of glowing flowers and fruits. The coco-
palm affords the principal food of the people ; but
the breadfruit, yam, sweet potato, banana, coffee,
sugar, and rice, all flourish in these happy isles.
The natives manage their canoes well, and are in
some of the islands a merry race, delighting to adorn
themselves with the beautiful flowers their island
New Ouinea, or Papua, is the largest island in all
Polynesia — ^indeed it is five times as large as England
and Wales. The country is almost covered with
dense forests in which are many kinds of birds of
the most gorgeous and beautiful plumage. The few
Mzzly-haired natives live in small villages.
Questions on the Map of Australia.
1. Between what oceans does Australia lie?
2. Name the five divisions of the island. Which is the largest ?
Which is the least populous ?
8. The only large river is in the south-east ; name it. What is
its large tributary called ?
200 QUESTIONS ON THE XAP 07 AUSTBALIA.
4. Id ^hat parts of Australia are there mountainB ? Name
those of New Boiith Wales and of South Australia.
5. Name three or four large lakes in South Australia.
6. Give the chief towns of each of the four provinces on the east
7. A town in Western Australia.
8. A large gulf in the north. What river flows into it ?
9. A smaller gulf in the south.
10. Name the capes and bays round the coast.
11. Where is the Australian Bight ?
12. What island is divided from Australia by Bass Strait ?
13. Name a town in this island.
14. What lands does Torres Strait separate ?
15. Name three groups of islands in the Pacific, a thousand miles
or so to the north-east of Australia. A large island to the north.
16. Two large distant islands to the south-east
17. What strait divides North Island from South Island?
18. Name two towns in North Island. Two capes on its coasts.
19. A town in South Island.
20. A range of mountains in South Island.
21. Name the small island which forms quite the south of New
22. About how long is New Zealand? How broad?
23. State roughly the length and breadth of Australia at its
longest and broadest parts.
LOHDOK : PRDITBD BT XDWASD STAKTOSD^ 55 CHAJUHO CKOSS, 8.W.